Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed by pro-Russian separatists in the east Ukraine in the last 24 hours, the Ukrainian army announced today, at the time when Russian and American representatives discussed the situation in the region, reports APE.
Kiev has accused Moscow of stepping up its forces near Ukraine’s eastern border in recent weeks, and reports of separatist attacks on Ukrainian government forces are on the rise.
NATO has expressed concern about its increase Russian military presence in the Donbas region, where Ukrainian troops have been fighting pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow since 2014, a conflict that has claimed the lives of 14,000 people.
Moscow and Kiev have long accused each other of not implementing the Minsk peace agreements.
The Kremlin announced yesterday that the movements of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine do not pose a threat to the neighboring country or anyone else. However, he stressed that he would respond to the new sanctions imposed by Kiev on Russian companies.
The United States and Britain, as well as EU and NATO countries, have expressed support for Ukraine.
The United States has said reports of Russian military action on Ukraine’s border are “credible” and has asked Moscow to explain the “challenges” and is ready to intervene, the State Department said yesterday.
Today, the Russian agency TASS reported that according to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, Russian and American delegates discussed the situation in southeastern Ukraine.
Yesterday, Ryabkov pointed out that Russia has high-level contacts with the United States over tensions in Ukraine.