Russia described the situation on the border with Ukraine very dangerous for Europe, and renewed its denial of Western accusations of planning an escalation against its western neighbor.

The Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, described the situation on the Ukrainian border as very tense and very dangerous for the European continent.

Peskov added - in an interview with the American network "CNN" (CNN) - that Washington did not provide any evidence of its allegations about Moscow's planning to escalate the situation.

He added that his country is still waiting for a direct response from the United States on the security guarantees it had requested, mainly related to the non-expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to the east by including Ukraine and other countries in the region.

On Saturday, the Russian presidency (the Kremlin) denied US accusations that Russia had deployed trained personnel in eastern Ukraine to carry out an operation that would be a pretext for the invasion of Ukraine.

The United States and European countries said that Russia had deployed about 100,000 troops on the borders of Ukraine in preparation for an attack on it, which Moscow denied.

In exchange for the Russian military deployment, the Ukrainian forces carried out new exercises last Thursday in the east of the country.

It is noteworthy that Russia annexed the Ukrainian Crimea in 2014, and since that time the Donbas region (eastern Ukraine) has witnessed a conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Moscow separatists.


Diplomatic moves

Politically, German Foreign Minister Annalina Birbock will travel to Ukraine on Monday for her first visit, and then visit Moscow to meet with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov next Tuesday.

Prior to the visit, the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin asked the German government to agree to arm his country to defend itself.

Birbock's visit comes amid European efforts to contain tension on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The United States and other Western powers have repeatedly warned Russia that it will pay a heavy price if it invades Ukraine, noting that this will include imposing heavy economic sanctions on Moscow.

In turn, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie will travel to Kiev next week to confirm her country's support for Ukraine. She is scheduled to meet with Ukrainian Prime Minister Dennis Shmykal, and visit about 200 Canadian soldiers deployed since 2015 in Ukraine as part of a mission to train Ukrainian forces.

Canada's Foreign Ministry said Jolie's talks would focus on "Russia's aggression and destabilizing activities in and around Ukraine."

The Canadian minister said earlier that the Russian military build-up endangers the security of the entire region, adding that "Russia must be deterred from continuing its aggressive actions."


cyber attack

A senior Ukrainian security official said that his country believed that a group linked to Belarusian intelligence carried out a cyber attack on Ukrainian government websites last week, during which it used malicious programs similar to those used by a group linked to Russian intelligence.

Serhiy Demdyuk, deputy secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, told Reuters that Ukraine had blamed the attack - which included threatening messages on government websites - to a group known as UNC 1151.

Demdeuk added that this attack was a cover for further acts of sabotage behind the scenes.

Ukrainian officials had said that Russia was likely involved in the cyber attack, but did not provide any details.

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