MOSCOW, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia said Friday that it was perplexed over recent Western allegations that Russia was beefing up its military presence near the Ukrainian borders.
"In this case, any build-up of troops is out of the question," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Rather, he said, there were indeed "measures to enhance security along the borders" that were in line with orders from President Vladimir Putin.
On June 7, Putin ordered the State Border Service to undertake appropriate steps to tighten control on the Russian-Ukrainian borders to curb illegal crossings.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Brussels Thursday that "at least a few thousand more" Russian troops had been deployed in what he said was "a new Russian military build-up" around the Ukrainian borders.
Rasmussen called it "a very regrettable step backwards."
Peskov noted the order was issued due to frequent violations of the Russia-Ukraine borders.
"That announcement has then received a positive response from European leaders," he was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.
On Thursday, Putin, in phone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, expressed the hope that Ukrainian authorities would stop violence and start a national dialogue without delay.
According to Putin's aide Yuri Ushakov, the president will continue these tripartite consultations in the coming days.
MOSCOW, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Russia reiterated Thursday that Ukraine must solve its months-long political crisis domestically and not rely on foreign guidance.
"It is obvious from Ukraine's example that even the most influential allies and supporters are unable to solve the country's basic problems," RIA Novosti news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin as saying. Full story