0928 GMT April 10, 2021
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday told reporters on a conference call that Russia was always looking out for its own security, according to Reuters.
His comments came after the European Union and NATO expressed worries over recent Russian troop movements.
Last week, NATO voiced concern over what it said was a big Russian military buildup near eastern Ukraine.
The European Union also on Sunday expressed major worries over Russian troop movements, pledging its “unwavering” support for Ukraine’s government.
“Following with severe concern the Russian military activity surrounding Ukraine,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote online after a phone call with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
“Unwavering EU support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Ukraine has accused Russia of massing thousands of military personnel on its northern and eastern borders as well as on the Crimean peninsula.
The Kremlin did not deny the recent troop movements but insisted that Moscow was “not threatening anyone”.
Ukraine said on Sunday its armed forces would begin joint military drills with NATO troops in a few months’ time, a step that could irritate Moscow.
The drills will involve more than 1,000 military personnel from at least 5 NATO member states and will be held in a few months, the Ukrainian armed forces said in a statement on Facebook on Saturday.
Earlier on Friday, the Kremlin said that any deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine would lead to further tensions near Russia’s borders and force Moscow to take extra measures to ensure its own security.
Ukrainian troops have battled Russian-backed separatist forces in the eastern Donbass region in a conflict Kiev estimates has killed 14,000 people since 2014.