Moscow calls on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stop parroting and spreading fabricated news about ‘imminent Russian aggression’ against Ukraine, two days after the United States announced it would be deploying several thousand troops to Eastern Europe.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Friday called on Jonson to stop disseminating "fake news" about the alleged threat of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Her comments were made as a response to what the British premier alleged in a video posted on the UK government’s official account in social networks that the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine is “very real” and “imminent.”
“Stop intimidating people, stop spreading fake news and threats,” Zakharova said, TASS news agency reported.
“As for the statements by the US and British official structures, they provoke acrid laughter and jokes not only in Russia but across the globe because it is impossible to take these statements, these sets of mythical clichés, these phobias seriously,” she stressed.
Russia and the US-led NATO have recently been at odds over Ukraine. Western countries accuse Russia of preparing for an invasion of Ukraine by amassing 100,000 troops and armaments near the border with that country. Rejecting the allegation, Moscow says the troop build-up is defensive as NATO has increased its activity near Russian borders.
In December last year, Moscow asked the Western military alliance to deny Ukrainian membership and roll back its military deployments near Russia, demanding legally binding guarantees. The US and NATO both offered written responses to the Russian requests, and Moscow later said its key demands had been ignored.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has already warned that the US is deliberately designing a scenario to lure Russia into a war over Ukraine.
The Kremlin has repeatedly reiterated that the expansion of the NATO military infrastructure in Ukraine constitutes a red line for Moscow and that any future expansion must exclude Ukraine and other former Soviet countries.
The US, Britain and the European Union (EU) have already threatened to impose a range of harsh financial and economic sanctions on Russia in case of launching a major attack on Ukraine.
While the US-led NATO is repeating the allegation of Russia’s purported plan of invading neighboring Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has just recently called on his Western allies to avoid stirring “panic” with their repeated claims that Russia could invade Ukraine at any moment.
“It is necessary to be serious and responsible about the reality: the Kiev regime’s requests to play down the zeal are heeded neither in Washington nor in London. I wouldn’t say that they don’t care, they simply have their own goals. They have a political crisis both in the United States and in Great Britain. So, they urgently need to find a possibility to do some virtual fighting anywhere and they are doing it to divert the attention of the people in their countries from the current political developments at home,” Zakharova further said.
Despite the fact that Moscow has rejected the possibility of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday ordered that 1,700 troops be deployed to Poland and some 300 soldiers to Germany.
He also ordered a 1,000-strong armored unit to be deployed from Germany to Romania. The US had already placed 8,500 troops on heightened alert to prepare for deployment in Eastern Europe and bolster NATO's presence in the region.
Moscow denounced the deployments as “destructive, stressing that they would diminish the likelihood of finding a political solution to the current standoff over Ukraine.
Relations between Ukraine and Russia have been deteriorating since 2014, when the then-Ukrainian territory of Crimea voted in a referendum to fall under Russian sovereignty. Ukraine, as well as the EU and the US, also claims that Russia has a hand in an ongoing conflict that erupted in the Donbass region of Ukraine between government forces and ethnic Russians in 2014. Moscow denies the allegation.