Kremlin: Situation in Donbas very alarming
Kremlin spokesperson describes the situation in the Donbas region as alarming, following Ukrainian security forces opening fire on two villages located in the Lugansk Republic.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned Friday that the current situation in the Donbas region is very alarming.
“What is happening in the Donbas, I repeat once again, is very disturbing news that really causes a feeling of alarm and is potentially very dangerous,” Peskov told reporters.
For some time now, Kyiv has been pushing additional forces and heavy military equipment to the line of contact separating its armed forces from the forces of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, which raises the tension in the Donbas region.
On several occasions, Moscow declared that Kyiv does not comply with the Minsk agreements aimed at resolving the conflict.
Earlier, Russia's Foreign Ministry mentioned that Kyiv had sent half of its armed forces personnel to Donbas.
"This is a response to provocation"
When asked about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s statement about guarantees for Kyiv, Peskov underlined that security guarantees of one country should not be discussed without taking into account the interests of all sides.
Zelensky said Thursday it is necessary to have a global document on security guarantees for Ukraine signed by the United States and Russia.
Regarding the expulsion of US Deputy Chief of Mission Bart Gorman from Russia, Peskov explained that is the retaliatory measure of Moscow, adding, "This is a response to provocation."
On Thursday, Moscow ordered Gorman to leave Russia in response to Washington's decision to expel the Russian embassy's minister-counselor.
Peskov: Military drills should not cause concern
As for Russia's military drills, Peskov explained that such exercises take place regularly and should not cause concern.
Earlier, the defense ministry announced that Russia would hold planned exercises of the strategic deterrence forces under the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 19, with the launches of ballistic and cruise missiles.
"Exercises and training launches of ballistic missiles are such a training process, quite regular, it is preceded by a whole series of notifications to various countries through various channels. All this is clearly regulated, and no one has any questions, fears, nothing, because everyone is notified in advance," Peskov told reporters.
When asked about the possibility of escalating tension in connection with the exercises of the Russian troops, he said that all exercises taking place on the territory of Russia are absolutely transparent.
"Putin, most likely, will be in the situation center. Such exercises, even such training launches, are impossible without the head of state," Peskov added.