Kremlin responds to USA's intention to protect Ukraine

The appearance of the US military in Ukraine will push Russia to take additional measures to ensure its security, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said competing on the plans of the United States to protect Ukraine from "Russian aggression," TASS reports.

“Of course, such a scenario would lead to a further increase in tensions near the Russian borders,” he said.

The spokesman for the Russian president also said that the statements from Kiev about the possibility for US military to appear in Ukraine were unacceptable and inappropriate.

On April 1, the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, following telephone conversations between US and Ukrainian military ministers, announced that Washington promised to protect Ukraine from "Russian aggression."

In addition, Kiev called on NATO countries to raise their combat readiness due to the aggravation of the crisis in Donbass.

At the end of March, The New York Times wrote that Russia was deploying as many as 4,000 troops near the border with Ukraine. Pentagon representatives said they received relevant messages and were discussing the crisis in eastern Ukraine with NATO partners.

On April 1, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian army, Ruslan Khomchak, announced that Russia was increasing its military presence near the border in Rostov, Bryansk, Voronezh regions and in Crimea. According to him, as of March 30, 28 battalion tactical groups of the Russian army were deployed along the border near Donbass.

When commenting on the above information, Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the movement of Russian troops across Russia should not bother other states, since it does not threaten them in any way. 

"The Russian Federation moves its armed forces within its territory at its own discretion," he said. 

The Russian Ministry of Defense later explained that the movement of military hardware to Crimea was conducted as part of the scheduled training activities of the Southern Military District.