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Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky calls out the West for creating panic amid Russian troop build-up

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the West not to create panic amid the build-up of Russian troops on his country’s borders.

He told reporters that warnings of an imminent invasion were putting Ukraine’s economy at risk.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden said he believed Russia could attack its neighbour next month.




Russia, however, denies it is planning to invade and on Friday its foreign minister said Moscow did not want war.

While Russia has about 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders, Mr Zelensky said he did not see a greater threat now than during a similar massing of troops last spring.

“There are signals even from respected leaders of states, they just say that tomorrow there will be war. This is panic – how much does it cost for our state?” he told the press conference in Kyiv.



The “destabilisation of the situation inside the country” was the biggest threat to Ukraine, he said.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden said he would send a small number of troops to Eastern Europe in the “near term”, to strengthen the Nato presence in the region. He did not specify where they would be stationed or when they would arrive.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon said there were 8,500 combat-ready troops on alert, ready to be deployed at short notice.

The US has rejected a key Moscow demand that Nato rule out Ukraine joining the defence alliance – but insisted it was offering Russia a ” serious diplomatic path”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin later accused the West of ignoring Russia’s security concerns.

But he said he would study the US response before deciding what to do, according to a Kremlin readout of a call between Mr Putin and his French counterpart.

France said the two leaders had agreed on the need to de-escalate and its President Emmanuel Macron told Mr Putin that Russia must respect the sovereignty of its neighbouring states.