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U.S. closely monitoring Russian activity near Ukraine - Blinken

The United States is monitoring unusual Russian military activity near the Ukrainian border and the possibility of provocations from Moscow, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.

According to an Ukrinform correspondent, he said this at a press briefing on Wednesday, November 10, after the signing of the U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership.

"We're concerned by reports of unusual Russian military activity near Ukraine. We're monitoring the region very closely, as we always do, we'll continue to consult closely as well with allies and partners on this issue. […] We don't have clarity into Moscow's intentions, but we do know its playbook," Blinken said.

According to him, Russia may "make the serious mistake of attempting to rehash what it undertook back in 2014 when it amassed forces along the border, crossed into sovereign Ukrainian territory, and did so claiming falsely that it was provoked."

"So the playbook that we've seen in the past is to claim some provocation as a rationale for doing what it's intended and planned to do all along, which is why we're looking at this very carefully," Blinken added.

He also commended "Ukrainian colleagues and partners for the remarkable restraint that they continue to demonstrate, because if there are any provocations that we're seeing, they're coming from Russia with these movements of forces that we see along Ukraine's borders."

"The message we're sending today […] is that our commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty, to its independence, to its territorial integrity is ironclad," Blinken said.

Read also: Ukraine, U.S. sign updated Charter on Strategic Partnership

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed the U.S.-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership on Wednesday, November 10, which sets out the main directions of bilateral relations in key areas for decades to come.

Photo: State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha

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