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US and French foreign ministers Anthony Blinken and Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed “worrying Russian military activity” around Ukraine on Saturday, following the deployment of strong Russian forces on the Russian-Ukrainian border.
They referred to “reports of disturbing Russian military activity in and near Ukraine” and recalled their “steel commitment to the protection of Ukraine’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to a State Department press release issued by the State Department. of yesterday Sunday.
France had already warned Russia on Friday against any “new attack on Ukraine’s territorial integrity” following the deployment. Washington has also expressed concern about the movement of Russian troops near Ukraine and warned Moscow against any invasion.
Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014. A conflict between pro-Russian separatist guerrillas and the army has also been raging in eastern Ukraine since the same year. Russia has been accused by Kiev and Western governments of supporting the separatists militarily and financially, something the Kremlin denies.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said nearly 100,000 Russian troops had gathered near the border with his country, adding that Western governments had shared information about their movements.
According to the announcement of the US Secretary of State, Messrs. Blinken and Lendrian also discussed ongoing “joint efforts” to overtake an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.