“One of the topics of their conversation was, among other things, the increased Russian military presence near eastern Ukraine,” the report said. “The Chancellor has called for a reduction in the concentration of these troops in order to de-escalate tensions.”
The Kremlin, for its part, said during the conversation Putin and Merkel “expressed concern” over escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine.
“The Russian president and the German chancellor have expressed concern about the escalation of tensions in south-eastern Ukraine. Vladimir Putin noted the provocative actions of Kiev, which have recently exacerbated the situation on the front in a targeted manner, “the Kremlin said in a statement.
At the time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went to the country’s eastern region on Thursday to the line of contact with pro-Russian separatist forces in the wake of escalating violence and escalating tensions with Moscow.
Earlier, the commander of the Ukrainian army, Ruslan Khomchak, said that Moscow was concentrating its forces near Ukraine’s northern, eastern and southern borders.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSGT), commenting on the situation regarding the mobilization of Russian forces near Ukraine’s borders in an interview published on Wednesday, said that “all processes are being activated”, but assured that Kiev is seeking to prevent escalation in Donbas.
Kiev’s allies in the West have issued a series of statements warning Russia not to take further action and demanding an explanation for the mobilization of its troops.
The Kremlin did not deny information about the military movement, but assured that Moscow “does not threaten anyone”.