May 17. 2021. 5:32

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Moscow warns United States to stay away from Russia, Crimea

In this April 5th, 2021, file photograph Ukrainian servicemen patrol along a position at the front line with Russia-backed separatists in the Donetsk region. Photograph: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Moscow on Tuesday warned the United States to stay away from Russia and Crimea, saying that the risk of incidents was very high, the Interfax news agency cited Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.

Two US warships are due to arrive in the Black Sea later this week amid an escalation in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Mr Ryabkov described the deployment as a “provocation”.

Mr Ryabkov was also cited as saying that Moscow was protecting and would continue to protect residents in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region which is controlled by Russian-backed separatists, the RIA news agency reported.

Foreign ministers from the G7 group of nations – including the United States, Britain and France – has condemned an increase in Russian troop numbers near its border with Ukraine and in the Russian-occupied region of Crimea.

“These large-scale troop movements, without prior notification, represent threatening and destabilising activities,” the joint statement released by Britain’s foreign ministry said.

“We call on Russia to cease its provocations and to immediately de-escalate tensions in line with its international obligations,” the statement added. — Reuters – Reuters