World Kyiv warns Russia that any attack on Ukraine would be costly
EXPLAINER: Is Russia going to invade Ukraine?
MOSCOW (AP) — Ukrainian and Western officials are worried that a Russian military buildup near Ukraine could signal plans by Moscow to invade its ex-Soviet neighbor. The Kremlin insists it has no such intention and has accused Ukraine and its Western backers of making the claims to cover up their own allegedly aggressive designs. It’s unclear whether the Russian troop concentration heralds an imminent attack or represents an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to persuade the U.S. and its NATO allies to refrain from sending soldiers and weapons to Ukraine, and drop plans for its eventual integration into NATO.
KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine's foreign minister warned Russia on Thursday that an attack on his country would incur "political, economic and human losses" and would be too costly.
Russia has been building up forces near its border with Ukraine, and Kyiv, the United States and NATO have voiced concerns about a possible Russian attack -- a suggestion the Kremlin has dismissed as false.
"We are not trying to guess what is in (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's head," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told a televised briefing.
What is happening at Ukraine's border? Putin's buildup of Russian troops sparks concern
A previous build-up of Russian forces on the border preceded Moscow's annexation of Crimea. President Vladimir Putin is threatening Ukraine again.Ukraine has been on edge in recent weeks amid a fresh build-up of Russian troops on the nation's eastern border, near where Moscow and Kyiv have been enmeshed in a simmering conflict for the last seven years that's killed more than 14,000 people.
"We are working to give him a clear understanding - a new attack on Ukraine will be too costly, so it is better not to do it."
He said Kyiv's the main goal was to restrain Russia from "further aggressive actions".
"To do this, Moscow must clearly understand what political, economic and human losses it will incur in the event of a new stage of aggression," Kuleba said.
The head of Ukraine's military intelligence told the Military Times outlet this weekend that Russia had more than 92,000 troops massed around Ukraine's borders and was preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February.
Ukraine, which wants to join the NATO military alliance, received a large consignment of U.S. ammunition and Javelin missiles earlier this year, prompting criticism from Moscow.
Russia's Military Buildup Next to Ukraine May Force Joe Biden's Hand
NATO has asked Russia to "reduce tensions and de-escalate" as Kyiv increases its calls to join the U.S-led alliance to counter the threat from Moscow.With Russian tanks moving west towards Ukraine months after a similar buildup caused outrage, NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Moscow on Friday of the risk of "miscalculation.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian navy received two refitted former U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats as a part of $2.5-billion package of assistance to Ukraine, and Kuleba said Ukraine could receive one another of the vessels.
Ukraine's ties with Russia collapsed in 2014 after Moscow backed separatists who rose up in eastern Ukraine and took control of territory that Kyiv wants back. Kyiv says some 14,000 people have been killed in fighting since then.
Russia has not turned its back on talks with France, Germany and Ukraine about how to implement a peace deal over eastern Ukraine, Maria Zakharova, a foreign ministry spokeswoman, said on Thursday.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Timothy Heritage)
Column: Biden wants to focus on China. Putin has another idea .
The biggest foreign policy challenge for President Biden is coming not from Asia, but from a more traditional nemesis, Russia's Vladimir Putin.History, and other great powers, don’t always cooperate with presidents’ grand designs.