Russia says any attempt to start a new war in Donbass could destroy Ukraine - TASS

FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talks during the meeting with South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong (not pictured) at the foreign ministry in Seoul, South Korea, March 25, 2021. Jeon Heon-Kyun/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that any attempts to start a new military conflict in Ukraine’s war-torn east could end up destroying Ukraine, the TASS news agency reported.

The comments come amid tensions after Ukraine’s commander-in-chief this week accused Moscow of building up forces near their shared border and said that pro-Russian separatists were systematically violating a ceasefire.

The Kremlin said earlier on Thursday that recent Russian troop and military hardware movements near Russia’s borders with Ukraine were aimed at ensuring Moscow’s own security and were not a threat to anyone.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn