Russia has dismissed the warning from the UK that it is attempting to install a pro-Moscow government in Kiev. Moscow hit out at Britain on Sunday after Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, gave warnings about Russia’s possible plans. The Russian foreign ministry said in a tweet: “Disinformation circulated by @FCDOGovUK is yet another indication that it is the @NATO Members led by the Anglo-Saxon nations who are escalating tensions around Ukraine.
“We urge the Foreign Office to stop spreading nonsense.”
The news comes after UK deputy prime minister Dominic Raab said Russia would face “very serious consequences” if it attempted a coup in Ukraine.
Ukraine is currently bracing for a potential invasion by 100,000 Russian troops amassed at its border.
Mr Raab added that while Britain stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Ukraine, it was “extremely unlikely” that British troops would be deployed in the event of an invasion.
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Mr Raab told Sky News: “It’s extremely unlikely we would do that.
“But what we can say is we’re already willing and engaging in training programmes to support Ukrainians defending themselves, that’s absolutely right.”
Russia has denied it will invade Ukraine but has imposed a series of demands on the nation.
This includes a ban on Ukraine joining Nato, in talks on de-escalating the situation.
A presidential adviser to Ukraine said the UK’s claims of a Russian coup attempt should be taken “as seriously as possible.”
Britain’s foreign ministry said it had information the Russian government was considering former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevhen Murayev as a potential candidate to lead a pro-Moscow leadership.
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Mr Murayev is a pro-Russian politician who opposes Ukraine’s integration in NATO.
Pope Francis said he was following “with concern” the tensions in Ukraine.
He called for a day of prayer for peace next week.
Pope Francis said: “I am following with concern the rising tensions that threaten to inflict a new blow to peace in Ukraine.
“The tensions call into question the security of the European continent, with even wider repercussions.”
He requested “that every political action and initiative serve human brotherhood, rather than partisan interests”.