U.S., British diplomacy chiefs, Anthony Blinken and Dominic Raab, urged Russia to cease military buildup along Ukraine borders.
"The United Kingdom and the United States firmly oppose Russia’s campaign to destabilse Ukraine, Secretary Blinken and I agreed Russia must immediately de-escalate the situation and live up to the international commitments that it signed up to at OSCE," Dominic Raab tweeted following a phone call with Blinken on Sunday, April 9.
"Our support for Ukraine's sovereignty is unwavering," the official added.
In turn, Anthony Blinken said that they both "agreed on the importance of supporting Ukraine against unilateral Russian provocations."
Read alsoRussia refuses to explain military buildup at Ukraine bordersThe two top diplomats "reaffirmed their support for Ukraine in the face of Russian provocations," according to a spokesman for the U.S. Department of State.
"They both emphasized the need for Moscow to immediately cease its military buildup and inflammatory rhetoric," the statement says.
Russian military buildup: Background
- 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.