Ukrainian Foreign Minister Says Russia Is Looking To Move Further Into Ukraine
Kiev - In an interview with ABC News, the Ukrainian foreign minister stated that the Russian government is 'looking for an opportunity to move further' into Ukrainian territory.
The Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba told ABC News in the interview, "We do not want to scare anyone, but we have to remain vigilant. We are extremely worried, but listen -- when you live next to Russia for seven years in an armed conflict, you kind of learn to be worried. You get used to it".
Kuleba met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National security advisor Jake Sullivan on Wednesday saying that ties between the two countries are "revived, restored, relaunched, whatever word we use".
Blinken confirmed that the commitment of the United States to the Ukraine is 'ironclad' and issued a warning to Russia that any 'escalatory or aggressive actions would be of great concern by the United States".
Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated on Thursday that there are now as many as 100,000 Russian troops stationed near the Ukrainian/Russian border.
Satellite images published by Maxar Technologies showed a large amount of Russian forces on the ground about 140 miles from the border, along with artillery, tanks and other military equipment.
Ukrainian officials have been downplaying Russia's recent actions, citing that Russia is known for its psychological warfare tactics, saying that such tactics will no longer work on the Ukraine.
"Russia's psychological pressure has not worked on us for a long time. Your panic will definitely not help, but it can help the enemy. It can become part of the information war and bring no less harm to the country than the fighting".
Blinken on Wednesday said, "We don't have clarity into Moscow's intentions, but we do know its playbook" referring to Russia's invasion on Ukrainian territory in 2014.
Kuleba told ABC News, "With this infrastructure in place along our border, it will not take Russia a lot of time to resort to an offensive action if it decides to do so, and our goal and our objective is to make everything, everything possible to prevent Russia from making that decision".
Part of the infrastructure Kuleba was referring to is the Boost In Assistance to the Ukraine from the United States military, along with more intelligence sharing, air defenses and other military aid.
Kuleba warned Washington that Putin only responds to strength saying, "Our experience of recent seven years demonstrates that Moscow understands and respects the language of strength. You do not have to threaten them, you do not have to act, to use force against them, but they respect you if you are strong with them, if you are tough with them".