Blinken warns of consequences if Russian Federation acts aggressively towards Ukraine

Ukrainian troops

Ukrainian troops

Ukraine is raising the alarm over a Russian military buildup along the border.

As a reminder, the Russian armed forces have recently been building up troops near the state border of Ukraine in the north, east and south, as well as in the occupied Crimea.

Two U.S. warships are due to arrive in the Black Sea this week.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that it dismayed over Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone systems in the Donbass region of Ukraine.

"The United States is our adversary and does everything it can to undermine Russia's position on the world stage", Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Tuesday.

Amid the rising tensions, the United States has notified Turkey that two US warships will sail to the Black Sea on April 14 and April 15 and stay there until May 4 and May 5.

The Ukrainian foreign minister sounded defiant toward Moscow, and said Ukraine and its Western partners were better prepared than seven years ago.

Echoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who met Kuleba earlier, Blinken said Moscow was massing forces in its biggest build-up since 2014, since Moscow annexed Crimea. "That's particularly important at a time when were seeing, unfortunately, Russian Federation take very provocative actions when it comes to Ukraine".

In separate meetings with Ukraine's foreign minister, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg expressed serious concern about Russian Federation deploying the largest concentration of troops near the Ukraine border since 2014.

"Russia must end this military buildup in and around Ukraine, stop its provocations and de-escalate immediately", Stoltenberg said. It has regularly accused North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of destabilising Europe with its troop reinforcements in the Baltics and Poland since the annexation of Crimea. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is holding a special meeting Tuesday on Ukraine.

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The White House this week said the number of Russian troops at the border with Ukraine was now greater than at any time since 2014 when the conflict erupted.

The Western alliance denies any such plans.

Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and two US warships are due to arrive in the Black Sea this week amid an escalation in fighting in eastern Ukraine where government forces have battled Russian-backed troops in a conflict Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people.

Kuleba appealed for further economic sanctions against Moscow and more military help to Kyiv.

According to him, Moscow will face consequences in the event of aggressive actions against Ukraine.

This could be direct support aimed at strengthening Ukraine's defence capabilities.

The G7 foreign ministers issued their joint appeal on the eve of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels over concerns that the years-long conflict in eastern Ukraine could escalate sharply.

Moscow on Tuesday accused the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries of turning Ukraine into a "powder keg".

"In this struggle, the support of the United States is absolutely crucial and deeply appreciated", Kuleba said.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members remain deeply reluctant to heed Ukraine's appeal to speed up its push for admission as they seek to avoid ratcheting up the tension.

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