EU: Russian military buildup along Ukrainian border a 'matter of concern'

Europe's foreign policy chief states it will only take “a spark” to set off a confrontation on Ukraine's border between West and Russia.

Dan Verbin ,

Josep Borrell
Josep Borrell

The EU’s High Representative for foreign policy said on Monday that with over 150,000 Russian troops stations at the country’s border with Ukraine, it will only take “a spark” to set of a potentially deadly confrontation with the West.

Joseph Borrell, who stated that further sanctions against Russia aren’t currently on the table, said that while the Russian file has several areas of concern, his biggest worry was the buildup of Russian troops on the Russia-Ukraine border, including military field hospitals and “all kinds of warfare,” reported the Associated Press.

“It is the highest military deployment of the Russian army on the Ukrainian borders ever. It’s clear that it’s a matter of concern when you deploy a lot of troops,” Borrell said. “Well, a spark can jump here or there.”

Borrell noted that “there’s more than 150,000 Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian borders and in Crimea. The risk of further escalation — it’s evident.”

A previous figure of 110, 000 troops had been obtained by Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran last week. Borrell confirmed the larger figure but would give no further detail.

Over 14,000 people have died due to fighting between Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.