NATO Concerned by Russia, Ukraine Tensions

"Russia will fail to undermine Ukraine's reputation on the worldwide arena and press for lifting sanctions with such provocative acts", Poroshenko said on Wednesday.

Russia's President Putin accused Ukrainian authorities of resorting to terror, instead of seeking to solve problems through negotiations. "We obviously will not let such things slide by", Putin said. Ukraine is "playing a risky game", Putin told reporters on Wednesday, adding that these actions were "stupid and criminal". "We will of course do everything to assure the security of infrastructure, citizens and will take additional measures to provide security, including serious additional measures".

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Moscow's claims were "senseless and cynical".

Ukraine dismissed the allegations as a cynical pretext for Russian Federation to make more military threats against Ukraine.

In other words, it is entirely all right for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and its members to invade countries at will, including Iraq, Libya and Syria, and subvert others as happened in Ukraine and is still happening in Syria.

Tensions soared after Ukraine put its military on alert on Thursday following Moscow's allegations that Kiev had attempted armed incursions in the disputed territory.

He also said Wednesday that it makes no sense to discuss the implementation of the Minsk peace deal for eastern Ukraine with leaders of Ukraine, France and Germany at the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting in China next month as had been planned earlier.

"We call upon all civilized nations to find a unified position and not only denounce the Ukrainian authorities but without any delay exclude Ukraine from the UN and OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe], because these organizations must maintain security in the world and oppose aggression against civilian population, such as the one now made by the Kiev authorities", Balbek was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Russian Federation is holding nationwide legislative elections next month - including in Crimea - and the FSB said the alleged raids could be aimed at destabilising the situation ahead of the vote. One FSB officer was killed while the FSB's attempt to arrest the group.

The FSB said the intruders carried an arsenal of bombs, ammunition and mines. This year's Games have been marked by a partial ban on Russian athletes by doping authorities, which Putin said was an unfair decision made by "short-sighted politicians". Kiev for its part says Moscow is the one that is still stirring tensions among pro-Russian separatists.

Russian Federation seized Crimea in 2014 after sending in thousands of special forces to take control of Ukrainian bases and holding a hastily organised referendum that was rejected by the worldwide community. The move angered the West which branded it as Moscow's annexation of the territory. The conflict has claimed more than 9,500 dead.

Putin said it would be "pointless" to hold another round of peace talks under the so-called "Normandy Format", because Ukrainian leaders are not interested in searching for compromises.

Russian Federation is gearing up for nationwide legislative elections on September 18 and Putin has previously warned his security officials that "foreign enemies" are seeking to disrupt the vote.

  • Joey Payne