Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says crossing Ukraine's state border is a "red line" for Russia.
"The state border is Ukraine's 'red line.' If Russia crosses the 'red line,' if it crosses the border, there must be consequences," he said at a joint press conference with the foreign ministers of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia in Kyiv on Thursday, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
Kuleba is convinced that diplomatic means, including today's visit of the foreign ministers of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, will help prevent an escalation.
Read alsoUkraine's envoy to Germany on Russia's build-up: Either joining NATO or restoring nuclear statusHe also expressed the hope that it would be possible by joint international efforts to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea and the temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
"All actions are now aimed at discouraging Russia from further escalation. These actions are taking place at all levels – bilateral, multilateral, regional," Kuleba added.
Russian troops amassing along Ukraine's borders
- On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak said Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills. Such actions pose a threat to Ukraine's military security.
- According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, enemy troops are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training. Russia-led forces' artillery units are reportedly on full alert in certain districts, including villages and towns in occupied Ukrainian territory.
- On March 31, 2021, The New York Times reported Russia was pulling 4,000 troops to the border with Ukraine.
- Footage was shared on the Internet, showing a train with Russian military hardware en route along the Kerch Strait bridge to occupied Crimea.
- The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.
- The U.S. Department of Defense said it was "aware of Russian troop movements" on Ukraine's borders and was concerned about recent escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
- The United States, finding reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine's border credible, asked Moscow to explain the "provocations" and is ready to engage on the situation.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow was trying to put pressure on Kyiv by amassing its military forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border.
- On April 8, 2021, Khomchak assured the situation was under control, and the Ukrainian military was ready to respond to the escalation both in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions and along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.