Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday the movements of the troops in Ukraine are no less in scale than those in Russia, especially on the contact line in Donbas.

The shift of the Ukrainian troops in the conflict zone leads to an increase in tensions, Peskov told reporters at a daily briefing in Moscow.

“Large-scale movements of the armed forces of Ukraine, various units of various types are carried out in the border zone on Ukrainian territory, and in the zone that borders the territory of the self-proclaimed republics, which, of course, leads to a significant escalation of the situation,” Peskov said.

On Feb. 11, Kyiv presented a note to Moscow, demanding to explain the purpose of the activities of its armed forces near Ukraine’s border.

On Feb. 13, Ukraine requested a meeting of the countries — signatures to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations “to make clear the situation with the movement of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border.”

Commenting on the remarks of the Ukrainian ambassador to Great Britain, who said Kyiv can abandon its plans on joining NATO, Peskov pointed out that it is not the position of the government.

He also reminded that Ukraine’s constitution cemented the country’s standpoint regarding joining NATO.

However, he said a documented refusal by Ukraine to join NATO would contribute to formulating “a more meaningful response” to Russia’s security concern.

In February 2019, the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament, approved amendments to the constitution that enshrine Ukraine’s desire to join NATO.

At the moment, the country has received the status of a NATO partner with expanded capabilities.

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