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The possibility of World War Three has become greater after Ukraine's foreign minister warned of fighting between Kiev troops and its Russian counterparts on the disputed Crimean border.
Despite both sides denying a build of a Russian presence at the border, as we reported last week, Dmitry Kuleba told a meeting with German and French leaders on Monday that the West would need to “avoid being tied up in bureaucracy in the event of a conflict”, Reuters reported yesterday.
He said: “If Russia starts acting, you simply won’t have time physically to coordinate, to go through all the bureaucratic procedures, to coordinate decisions.
“So please do the preparatory work now, because if the military scenario happens, there will simply be no time.”
He made the pleas to his French and German counterparts, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maas.
However, he was clear that Ukrainian leaders were NOT looking to go to war with Russia, but it will “defend itself if necessary”.
Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, earlier this month, that movement or Russian troops on Russian land was should be of “no concern to anyone”.
He added: “Russia poses no threat to anyone.”
But that didn't stop Britain from signing a new treaty with Ukraine, which saw the latter take out loans from London the help it buy British warships, reports Sky News.
Totaling £1.7 billion, Ukraine's leaders want to buy two mine hunters and will jointly produce eight missile ships and a frigate.
It will also buy weapons for existing ships.
Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, and his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov, said in a joint statement: “Our governments have no desire to be adversarial, or seek in any way to strategically encircle or undermine the Russian Federation.”
The deal was signed last week, as confirmed by the Ministry of Defence, with finance being provided by the UK Export Finance company.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been growing all year.
Back in April, a Ukrainian source said that "aggressive Russian troop movements towards the border have caused a great deal of concern within the Ministry of Defence".
The source added: “The situation is being monitored constantly. I would definitely describe this as a growing crisis.”
And, Russia and Ukraine both denied evidence from an American satellite, which showed a growing of troops on the disputed Crimean border.
American satellite images appeared to show a build-up of tanks, armoured units and self-propelled artillery, and ground troops, near the Russian town of Yelnya.
Both video and photo evidence on social media corroborate the claims, but Ukrainian officials hadsaid that they have no evidence themselves to back it up. Russia also denied it.
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- World War 3
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