'There will be consequences': U.S. warns Russian Federation against aggression in Ukraine


"As we speak right now, I have to tell you we have real concerns about Russia's actions on the border of Ukraine", Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated.

Blinken's schedule Tuesday includes talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Russian Federation has not denied the troop buildup along the border but officials said it was not planning on going to war with Ukraine.

"Russia must end this military buildup in and around Ukraine, stop its provocations and deescalate immediately", Stoltenberg said.

Russian Federation is defending the troop buildup calling it defensive.

"President Biden was very clear on this issue: if Russian Federation acts recklessly or aggressively, there will be consequences", Blinken said.

Lavrov argued that while Russian Federation was moving troops on its own territory, "a question what the USA ships and servicemen taking part in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation activities in Ukraine are doing thousands of kilometers away from its territory has remained unanswered".

The comments came amid a rise in cease-fire violations in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a conflict since Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Austin, on a visit to Berlin, said the United States would ramp up its forces in Germany in light of the friction with Moscow, abandoning former President Donald Trump's plans to withdraw about round 12,000 of the 36,000 troops from there.

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Earlier, at news conference with Kuleba at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters, Stoltenberg said the alliance was united in its "unwavering" support for Ukraine.

Kuleba said Ukraine "does not want war" and is "devoted to diplomatic and political means of settling the conflict".

The G7 foreign ministers issued their joint appeal on the eve of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels over concerns that the years-long conflict in eastern Ukraine could escalate sharply.

Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and fighting has escalated in recent weeks in eastern Ukraine, where government forces have battled Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year conflict that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people. The numbers are likely to grow as the troops keep arriving. We don't believe in such terminology: "price, retribution and so on", he said.

The Kremlin has maintained that Russian Federation is free to deploy its troops wherever it wants on its territory and has repeatedly accused the Ukrainian military of "provocative actions" along the line of control and of planning to retake control of the rebel regions by force.

Officials insisted that the Kremlin is entitled to move troops "within Russian territories" and pledged to protect Russian speakers in the region.

Underlying Tuesday's meeting is also Ukraine's wish to become a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation over the vehement objections of Moscow.

Crimea is still recognized as part of Ukraine by the United Nations, and Kiev vows to one day win it back. Blinken said during the March talks that the United States wanted to "listen and consult" with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, while pledging to "leave together" when the time is right.