Britain condemns Russian “provocations and attacks” on the Ukrainian border

AA / London / Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

The United Kingdom condemned, on Thursday, the Russian “provocations and attacks” on the borders of Ukraine.

“I condemn the Kremlin’s aggressive and provocative rhetoric against Ukraine and NATO. NATO is a defensive alliance and Ukraine continues to show impressive restraint in the face of Russian provocations and aggression,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

Liz Truss called the reinforcement of the Russian troop presence on the border with Ukraine and in the illegally annexed Crimea “unacceptable”, and declared that any Russian incursion would be “a serious strategic mistake that can be aggressively combated, particularly through sanctions in coordination with our allies from in order to severely punish Russia’s interests and its economy.”

“The UK’s support for Ukraine is unwavering,” she added.

The British foreign secretary also stressed that “the only way for Russia to get out of the current situation is through dialogue,” welcoming the Kremlin’s willingness to start talks in January.

She added that Moscow “must stop escalating its activities and enter into serious discussions.”

Truss also said on Twitter that she had discussed the matter with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced, Thursday, that the United States has agreed to start talks on Russia’s security guarantees early next year in Geneva.

Speaking at an annual press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin said the US reaction to Russia’s proposal on security guarantees has so far been positive.

“Our American partners say they are ready to start these negotiations at the beginning of next year in Geneva,” he said.

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As early as 2014, Russia began supporting separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government, a policy it has pursued for the past seven years.

Last month, Moscow, for the second time this year, concentrated its military forces in the vicinity of Ukraine.

* Translated from the English by Mourad Belhaj

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