Russian and USA military chiefs of staff hold phone call

Ukraine bans Russian wheat, sunoil

Secretary of State Tony Blinken reaffirmed the "unwavering support" of the United States for Ukraine's territorial integrity in the face of "Russia's ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea", according to a readout of his call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Wednesday.

He said the U.S. military was aware of Ukrainian reports concerning Russian troop movements on the country's borders.

CNN reported that the Pentagon has become anxious about an escalation as military intelligence reports said around 4,000 heavily armed Russian forces had been seen moving in Crimea.

Both sides provided few details of the call between Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and General Valery Gerasimov, the head of Russian's military general staff.

The Biden administration on Wednesday expressed concern about what it called escalations of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces have been fighting Russian-backed separatists since 2014.

Khomchak denounced the "threat to the military security" of Ukraine by the Russian army, saying that some 28,000 separatist fighters and "more than 2,000 Russian military instructors and advisers" are now stationed in eastern Ukraine.

A force of 200 Canadian military trainers has been based in western Ukraine since September 2015.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that he believe the moves represented a threat.

'Playing with muscles in the form of military exercises and possible provocations along the border is a traditional Russian affair, ' Zelensky said, according to Reuters.

Ukraine bans Russian wheat, sunoil
US expresses concerns over Russia-Ukraine military tensions

He accused Moscow of seeking to create "a threatening atmosphere" as Kiev hopes to resume a ceasefire brokered past year.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the U.S. was aware of escalations by Russian troops on Ukrainian borders in recent days.

On Monday, NATO fighter jets conducted 10 intercepts of Russian warplanes, stretching from the Arctic to southern Europe as the alliance countered what it called "an unusual peak" of flights.

Ukraine has not imported wheat from Russian Federation in several years, according to APK-Inform agriculture consultancy.

On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm the troop buildup on the border, saying Moscow was at liberty to move troops across its territory.

'As for the participation of Russian troops in the armed conflict on the territory of Ukraine, Russian troops have never taken part in it, ' he added.

But the gathering of troops comes amid heightened tension in the region, and Ukraine's Commander-In-Chief Ruslan Khomchack told his country's parliament this week that Russian forces from different regions had been assembling near the border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the increase in violence on Tuesday, and blamed Ukrainian forces for it.

94 active cases of COVID-19 in St
Health officials said that pause presents an opportunity to use those doses to protect people with higher COVID-19 risks sooner. A new outbreak has been declared at Vernon Jubilee Hospital , while the outbreak at Mission Memorial Hospital is now over.

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