Russia has been conducting military exercises in several regions, including Samara and near its border with Ukraine. That’s raising concerns in a number of Western capitals.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the threat of direct intervention from Russia’s military has risen over the last couple of days.
“We have reasons to believe, according to information I have received in the last few hours, that the threat of direct Russian intervention is certainly greater than it was a few days ago,” Tusk said.
Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about recent sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union in response to Russia’s alleged support of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
“Political instruments of putting pressure on the economy are unacceptable, they contradict all norms and rules, and in connection with this the Russian government has already proposed some retaliatory measures to the so-called sanctions imposed by some countries,” said Putin.
Meanwhile Moscow has called an emergency meeting of the United Nations’ Security Council over what it described as a “humanitarian situation” in Ukraine.
Luhansk, the smaller of two main pro-Russian rebel strongholds in the east of Ukraine, has been cut off from food supplies and left with almost no electricity or running water.