Politics, World

Ukraine calls on Russia to withdraw troops from border

Kremlin says potential Ukrainian operation on Russia-backed separatists threatens Moscow's security

Elena Teslova   | 12.04.2021
Ukraine calls on Russia to withdraw troops from border

MOSCOW

Ukraine on Monday called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the border.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said in a statement it has activated the 2011 Vienna document on confidence- and security-building measures and officially asked Russia about its military presence along the border with Ukraine.

"The Russian side refused to provide substantive information in accordance with the request, stating that it does not conduct such activities," the ministry added.

"We call on the Russian side to withdraw its troops from the border with Ukraine, stop bellicose rhetoric and disinformation, and start faithfully implementing the provisions of the Minsk Agreements and its obligations under the OSCE Vienna Document," the statement said.

Commenting on the statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a potential offensive of the Ukrainian army against the separatists, fraught with hostilities on the Russian border, threatens the country's security.

"We hope that political wisdom will prevail in Kiev and the matter will not take a serious turn -- and provocative actions will come to naught," he said.

Asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to discuss the rising border tensions with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, Peskov said the Kremlin has not received any requests from the Ukrainian side so far.

If there is a related request, Putin always has something to say when it comes to defusing tensions and preventing a potential war, Peskov said.

The conflict in the southeast of Ukraine has escalated in recent weeks. Kyiv and Russian-backed separatists accuse each other of violating the truce.

The Ukrainian Army said one Ukrainian soldier was killed last night in cross-border firing.

Ukraine has been plagued by conflict in its eastern regions since March 2014, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has seen more than 13,000 people killed, according to the UN.

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