The Kremlin said on Sunday that Russia was not heading for a war with Ukraine as it increased its military presence at the border with Ukraine’s eastern secession.
In recent weeks, fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists who control two regions in eastern Ukraine has intensified, raising concerns about large-scale escalations in long-term conflicts.
“Of course, no one has plans to go to war, and generally no one accepts the possibility of such a war,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a television interview on Sunday.
A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin added, “No one has accepted the possibility of a civil war in Ukraine.”
Peskov claimed that Moscow was not involved in the conflict, but added that Russia “will not remain indifferent” to the fate of Russian speakers living in conflict-torn areas.
“Russia is making every possible effort to resolve this dispute, and we continue to explain this,” Peskov said.
Ukraine has accused Russia of gathering thousands of military personnel on its northern and eastern borders and on the merged Crimean Peninsula.
The Kremlin has not denied the military movement, but Moscow has claimed that no one intends to intimidate.
The White House said this week that the number of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border is higher than at any time since 2014, when the conflict broke out after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
The armistice agreement was signed in July last year, so the fighting subsided in 2020, but clashes recurred from the beginning of the year and both sides blamed each other.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the eastern front and spoke with soldiers in trenches.
According to the president, 26 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since January, compared to 50 in 2020 as a whole.
Since 2014, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people and expelled many others, but negotiations on a lasting peace agreement have been stalled.
Kremlin Says Not Moving Towards War With Ukraine Source link Kremlin Says Not Moving Towards War With Ukraine