Kremlin says "daily" Western predictions of Ukraine invasion are provocative

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a joint news conference of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow, Russia February 18, 2022. Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Kremlin via REUTERS

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. read more

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."

Reporting by Polina Devitt and Darya Korsunskaya, editing by Mark Trevelyan

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