Ukraine says U.S., allies warning Russia against new military escalation

Ukraine and its Western allies have stepped up diplomatic efforts to warn Russia of a new military attack on Ukraine by outlining the consequences of such action, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Friday.

On his return from a trip to Washington, Kuleba accused Russia of waging a “hybrid war” against Europe and said Moscow’s fingerprints were also on a migration crisis on the border of the European Union and Russia’s ally Belarus.

Kuleba held a briefing after the United States and its European allies raised concerns over the past few weeks about the movement of Russian troops and equipment near Ukrainian borders following an earlier buildup in the spring.

Russia has dismissed concerns about its military activities as inflammatory and instead blamed Ukraine and the US for destabilizing behavior.

Recent satellite imagery shows self-propelled artillery and other equipment amid a large ground force deployment on the northern edge of the city of Yelnya, Smolensk Oblast, Russia on November 1, 2021.AFP – Getty Images

Kuleba also said Ukrainian companies had signed contracts to supply engines for Turkish drones as part of Kiev’s efforts to strengthen its own defense capabilities.

“There has been a lot of diplomacy in the last few weeks, including shuttle diplomacy between Kiev, Washington, major European capitals and Moscow,” said Kuleba.

“This is a political way in which certain positions are communicated with Russia and the consequences for Russia are discussed if a new wave of aggression against our state takes hold.”

Kuleba said he will meet representatives from NATO and the European Union on a trip to Brussels on Monday.

Relations between the West and Moscow plummeted to post Cold War lows following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the outbreak of war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces, which Kiev claims killed 14,000.

Ukraine acquired sophisticated Turkish drones and used them for the first time in the conflict in eastern Ukraine last month, angering Russia.

Meanwhile, the EU is accusing Belarus of creating a crisis on its border by encouraging thousands of migrants from war-torn areas to enter EU countries via Belarus. Belarus denies this, and Russia has denied having a role too.

“Let us agree that there is no migration crisis in Belarus now – there is a hybrid war between Russia and Europe,” said Kuleba.

“Moscow’s desire is to create problems and force the rest of the world to solve them.”

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