Russia and Ukraine on brink of WAR Kremlin warns neighbours of “FRIGHTENING” conflict

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Ukraine plans to conduct missile-firing drills over the Black Sea in territory that Russia now claims as its own following the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

But Ukraine and Western powers refuse to recognise Russia now controls the peninsula.

The standoff escalated further late last week when Kiev announced plans to test fire missiles near the town of Simferopol in central Crimea on December 1 and 2.

In response, chairman of the foreign policy committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, warned about the potential for a rapid escalation in hostilities.

He said: “If the situation escalates to the point where a military response is necessary, this will surely be the most frightening and undesirable scenario of events, which all of us should prevent at all costs.”

The senator added: “I”d place an accent on the phrase “all of us” because that”s not exclusively Russia”s problem.”

Vladimir Putin is following the situation closely, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Sergei Zheleznyak, a member of Russia”s State Duma Committee for International Affairs, called on the EU and NATO to intervene.

He said Ukraine”s “irresponsible and unreasonable actions” were a cause of “great concern”.

Oleksander Turchinov, Ukraine”s National Security and Defence Council Secretary, dismissed Moscow”s claims that Kiev had breached international agreements:

“Ukraine carries out the missile tests within the framework of all the international obligations and treaties.

“That”s why we ask Russia not to hinder the tests by its hysterics and provocations.”

In the past two years, relations between Russia and Washington have deteriorated to their worst level since the Cold War as a result of the armed conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, where Moscow and Washington backed opposing sides.

Putin has expressed hope that, with the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president, relations will improve.