UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday canceled his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

“In light of the deteriorating situation regarding Ukraine, the Secretary-General is canceling his mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Twitter.

Guterres will be back in New York on Tuesday.

The announcement came shortly after Russian President Vladimir said he would move to recognize the so-called People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine as independent states.

With that move, Putin further stoked fears of a possible invasion of the former Soviet republic.

Western countries have accused Russia of amassing nearly 150,000 troops along the Ukrainian border in preparation for an imminent invasion.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any plan to invade Ukraine and instead accused Western countries of undermining Russia’s security through NATO’s expansion toward its borders.

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