Russia v Ukraine: Crisis looms as Kiev teams up with NATO for drills – Putin sent warning
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and stoke already heightened tensions with Moscow, which has expressed its opposition to the idea. Meanwhile, Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski – who was born in neighbouring Poland – warned Mr Putin was testing the resolve of the West by sending troops and tanks to Ukraine’s borders, as well as criticising the proposed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline deal between Russia and Germany.
NATO voiced concern on Thursday over what it said was a big Russian military build-up near eastern Ukraine after Russia warned a serious escalation in the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbass region could “destroy” the country.
The Kremlin on Friday said any deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine would lead to further tensions near Russia’s borders and force Moscow to take extra measures to ensure its own security.
Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed separatist forces in the eastern Donbass region in a conflict Kiev estimates has killed 14,000 people since 2014.
The drills will involve more than 1,000 military personnel from at least 5 NATO member states and will be held in a few months, the Ukrainian armed forces said in a statement on Facebook on Saturday.
It explained: “In particular, defensive actions will be worked out, followed by an offensive in order to restore the state border and territorial integrity of a state that has been subjected to aggression by one of the hostile neighbouring countries.”
The statement did not specify exactly when the drills would take place.