Jan 25, 2022 16:16 UTC
  •  Kremlin: US escalating tensions over Ukraine, Russia eyes actions with great concern

The Kremlin says the United States is fueling tensions over Ukraine, stressing that Moscow is watching with great concern, after Washington put thousands of troops on alert for deployment in Eastern Europe.

Speaking at a news briefing in the capital, Moscow, on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Washington of escalating tensions with the deployment of 8,500 forces to Eastern Europe to reinforce the region against an alleged Russian threat.

"The United States is escalating tensions," Peskov told reporters. "We are watching these US actions with great concern."

NATO announced a day earlier that it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing Eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets in response to a Russian military build-up at Ukraine's borders. Russia has said the risk of an offensive by Ukrainian troops against pro-Russia forces in the country's volatile east is "very high."

Peskov also told reporters on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would talk this week to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who is also planning to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy over the crisis.