MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) – Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird voiced deep concern over reports on the alleged movement of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border in what it described as “provocative actions by Russia.”
“Canada is deeply concerned by reports of Russian troops moving closer to the border with Ukraine,” Baird said in a statement published on the Foreign Ministry’s website Wednesday.
“We strongly condemn these provocative actions by Russia, and we believe this is further proof that the Kremlin only seeks to hamper the peace process in Ukraine,” the minister added.
Baird urged Russia to immediately withdraw its troops “from Ukraine’s sovereign territory” and stressed that Canada will continue to monitor the situation and “to work with partners and allies to maintain pressure on Russia to cease its aggression.”
On Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance witnessed Russian troops approaching the Ukrainian border and claimed that Moscow continues to train and arm independence supporters in eastern Ukraine. No evidence was ever presented, however.
Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict and has no relation to the events unfolding in the country’s eastern regions.
In particular, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that all the claims accusing Russia of escalating tensions in Donbas are groundless and the country’s Defense Ministry denied providing independence supporters with any sort of assistance, including military hardware and ammunition.