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The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement revealing that over 50 NATO reconnaissance aircraft and drones are being detected near the country's borders every week. Addressing the allegations of Moscow “escalating” the situation on the Ukrainian border, the ministry outlined that the Russian actions are “of a purely defensive nature.”
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister (FM) Sergei Lavrov noted that NATO is piling up significant military equipment on Russia's border. While in a press conference with his Brazilian counterpart, Lavrov also said that Moscow is considering the possibility that Kiev might engage in some kind of "military venture" which would pose a threat to Russia."
"President Putin spoke about this on 18 November… he stressed that we do not need conflicts, but if the West cannot hold Ukraine back, but, on the contrary, encourages it, of course, we will take all the necessary steps to ensure our security" Lavrov said. He added that for a while," "the West has been provoking Ukraine — and not only Ukraine" — to take "anti-Russian actions."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed "serious consequence" in the event of "renewed Russian aggression" in Ukraine. Blinken had earlier arrived in Riga to meet his Latvian counterpart and attend the Meeting of NATO Ministers.
Referring to Russia's "massing of troops" near the Ukrainian border, Blinken described it as "unusual," adding that any escalation by Moscow would be met with "grave concern" by the United States military.
At the same time, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg contributed to the controversy on Tuesday by alleging that the movement of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine is "unprovoked and unexplained."
Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke on Tuesday, expressing Moscow's concerns regarding the military drills taking place near the Russian border, which include military exercises that have not been scheduled." "Russia is also experiencing certain concerns about the fact that large-scale exercises are being conducted near its borders, including unplanned ones, as was the case quite recently in the Black Sea," Putin said at the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling."
Earlier in the day, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement revealing that over 50 NATO reconnaissance aircraft and drones are being detected near the country's borders every week. Addressing the allegations of Moscow" "escalating" the situation on the Ukrainian border, the ministry outlined that the Russian actions are "of a purely defensive nature."