Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine and suggestions to the contrary are malicious US propaganda, the country’s foreign intelligence chief says.
US, NATO and Ukrainian officials have raised the alarm in recent weeks over what they say are unusual Russian troop movements near the border with Ukraine, suggesting that Russia may be poised to launch an attack.
Russia has repeatedly said it is free to move its troops on its own territory and that such movements should not be a cause for concern.
“I need to reassure everyone. Nothing like this is going to happen,” Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, said in an interview broadcast on state television, referring to comments on Russia’s alleged invasion plans.
“Everything that is happening around this topic right now is of course malicious propaganda by the US State Department.”
Naryshkin spoke a day after the top US diplomat for European affairs said all options were on the table in how to respond to Russia’s troop build-up near Ukraine’s border and that the NATO military alliance would decide on the next move after consultations next week.
While US officials have voiced concerns about a possible Russian attack on Ukraine, authorities in Moscow have accused the US, Ukraine and NATO of provocative and irresponsible behaviour near Russia’s borders.