Putin accuses West of ‘escalating situation’ in Ukraine

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that the West is “escalating” the Ukraine conflict by holding drills in the Black Sea and flying bombers near its borders.

His comments come as the US accuses Moscow of a troop build-up near Ukraine.

Western countries have for days raised alarm over Russian military activity near Ukraine, with Washington warning Moscow against making another “serious mistake” in the ex-Soviet country.

“(Our) Western partners are escalating the situation by supplying Kiev with lethal modern weapons and conducting provocative manoeuvres in the Black Sea,” Putin said in a speech to the foreign ministry.

He claimed that Western bombers are flying “20 km from our border.”

The longtime Russian leader said that Moscow has been “constantly raising concerns about this” but “all our warnings and talk about red lines are treated superficially”.

Putin has been voicing concern about US naval exercises in the Black Sea for…

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