Kremlin says “daily” Western predictions of Ukraine invasion are provocative

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MOSCOW, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Repeated Western predictions of a Russian invasion of Ukraine are provocative and may have adverse consequences, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday he was convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a decision to invade Ukraine, and though there was still room for diplomacy, he expected Russia to move on the country in the coming days. Russia has repeatedly denied preparing to invade Ukraine. 

Putin takes no notice of such Western statements, Peskov told Rossiya 1 state TV.

“The fact is that this directly leads to an increase in tension. And when tension is escalated to the maximum, as it is now, for example, on the line of contact (in eastern Ukraine), then any spark, any unplanned incident or any minor planned provocation can lead to irreparable consequences,” he added.

“So all this has – may have – detrimental consequences. The daily exercise of announcing a date for Russia to invade Ukraine is a very bad practice.”

In another development, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations said on Sunday that the assessments of U.S. and British spies on Ukraine cannot be trusted as they made so many grave mistakes in the run up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, .

“We don’t trust the U.S. and British intelligence, they let us down, the whole world, on many occasions enough to remember weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” Dmitry Polyanskiy told Sky.

Polyanskiy said no-one should try to tell Russia where it held military exercises on Russian territory.

PHOTO – An Ukrainian serviceman checks the situation at the positions on a front line, not far from pro-Russian militants controlled city of Donetsk, Ukraine. EPA-EFE/STAS KOZLYUK

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