News   /   Russia

Russia warns of harsh response to any provocation

The Novocherkassk landing ship takes part in an exercise in the amphibious landing on an unimproved shore at the Opuk range, Crimea, Russia. (Sputnik)

Russia says it does not seek an armed conflict with Ukraine but will harshly respond to any provocations.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Russian broadcaster RT that the Kremlin “would not want to choose the path of confrontation.”

Citing President Vladimir Putin, Lavrov said Russia "has all the capabilities in place to ensure a full military and technical response to any kind of provocations that might unfold around us." He, however, added that “the choice is up to our partners.” The foreign minister said "the fact that the US authorities have been quite expeditious with regards to organizing future contacts, I believe it is a positive sign, regardless of the substantial work ahead."

Tensions have been mounting in eastern Ukraine since November, when several Western media outlets reported that Russia had been amassing troops near the border and claimed that Moscow was planning a large-scale military invasion of the country.

Russia denies the allegations, saying it is free to move its troops around within its own borders and that its military buildup is not provocative. Moscow views it as defensive measures against Ukraine’s closer alliance with the West and aspirations to join NATO.

President Putin said on Tuesday that what the US and its NATO allies are “doing in Ukraine is at our doorstep... And they should understand that we have nowhere further to retreat to. Do they think we’ll just watch idly?”

“If the aggressive line of our Western colleagues continues, we will take adequate military-technical response measures and react harshly to unfriendly steps.”

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku