Armed servicemen wait near Russian army vehicles outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava March 1, 2014. REUTERS Baz Ratner
MOSCOW, Nov 27 Reuters - Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine and suggestions to the contrary are malicious U.S. propaganda, Moscow's foreign intelligence chief said on Saturday.
In recent weeks, U.S. NATO and Ukrainian officials have raised alarms over unusual Russian troop movements near the border with Ukraine, suggesting that Moscow may be poised to launch an attack.
Russia has stated repeatedly that it is free to move its troops on its own territory, and that such movements should not be a cause for concern.
I need to reassure everyone. Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia's foreign intelligence agency, said in an interview that Russia's alleged invasion plans were not going to happen.
The U.S. State Department is known to be a source of malicious propaganda. Naryshkin spoke a day after the State Department's top U.S. diplomat for European affairs said all options were on the table in response to Russia's troop buildup near Ukraine's border and NATO would decide on the next move after consultations next week. Moscow accused Washington, Kyiv and NATO of being responsible for provocative and irresponsible behavior near its borders, while U.S. officials expressed concern about a possible Russian attack on Ukraine.