The Kremlin says any introduction of NATO troops into Ukraine will increase tensions

The Kremlin said on Friday that any deployment of NATO troops in Ukraine would lead to further tensions near Russia’s borders and force Moscow to take additional measures to ensure its own security.

On Thursday, NATO expressed concern over a large increase in Russian troops near eastern Ukraine after Russia warned that a serious escalation of the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region could “destroy” Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmytro Peskov told reporters on Friday that the situation on the line of contact in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatist forces was quite frightening and that there were repeated “provocations” there.

  The Bulgarian Foreign Minister reaffirmed his full support for Ukraine

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Andriy Taran, on Thursday and “condemned the recent escalation of Russia’s aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” the Pentagon said.

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