Russia urges Ukraine, NATO to stop military preparations amid Donbas tensions


Moscow, April 8 : The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Kiev and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to stop military preparations and other actions that could escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine. "We support a settlement of the conflict in Donbas exclusively by peaceful means," the ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported. Russia has noticed a disinformation campaign by Ukraine and some Western countries, which are trying to accuse Russia of intensifying the conflict in Donbas and on the Russian-Ukrainian border, she said. "We view the disinformation and propaganda campaign as means to divert attention from Kiev's own military build-ups in Donbas, its sabotage of the Minsk agreements (on Donbas settlement) and increased military activities of NATO countries in Ukraine," Zakharova said. According to her, Kiev continues to send new forces and weapons to the contact line in Donbas and violate the ceasefire with the insurgents there, while some NATO countries have boosted military activities on the territory of Ukraine and in the Black Sea close to the Russian borders. In 2021, Ukraine plans to conduct seven joint exercises on its territory with various NATO countries, the diplomat noted. She added that the NATO continues financial and logistical support for the Ukrainian armed forces, the supply of lethal weapons, and the training of Ukrainian military personnel. All this does not contribute to the security in the region or the settlement of the conflict in Donbas, but causes Russia's serious concerns, the spokesperson said. /IANS


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