The United States is open to engaging with Russia on Ukraine and called on Moscow to refrain from escalating the situation on the border, a US State Department spokesperson said.
"We are open to engagement with Moscow," the spokesperson said on Monday as reported by Sputnik.
The spokesperson reiterated the United States' concerns with respect to the escalating situation in eastern Ukraine, referring to "credible reports" about alleged Russian troop movements near the border.
"These movements were preceded by violations of the July 2020 ceasefire that led to the deaths of four Ukrainian soldiers on March 26 and the wounding of two others," the spokesperson said. "We call on Russia to refrain from actions to get escalated."
Earlier on Monday, Sputnik reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Moscow takes steps it considers necessary on its own territory.
The Ukrainian Parliament last week put out a statement declaring an "escalation" along the front, citing a "significant increase in shelling and armed provocations by the armed forces of the Russian Federation."
Ukraine, which represents NATO's frontline in eastern Europe against Russian expansion, pressed Western governments to "continue and increase international political and economic pressure on Russia," reported The Hill.
Meanwhile, other countries like Germany and France are calling on the conflicting parties in southeastern Ukraine (Donbas) to de-escalate tensions amid an increase in ceasefire violations, the German and French foreign ministries said in a joint statement.
Ukraine and Russia have been embroiled in a deadly conflict since Russian forces annexed Crimea in 2014. Moscow continues to support separatist rebels fighting in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
( With inputs from ANI )
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