"On Thursday, Putin, in phone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, expressed the hope that Ukrainian authorities would stop violence and start a national dialogue without delay."
Moscow, June 20 - Russia said Friday that it was perplexed over recent Western allegations that it was beefing up its military presence near the Ukrainian borders.

In this case, any build-up of troops is out of the question, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Rather, he said, there were indeed measures to enhance security along the borders that were in line with orders from President Vladimir Putin, Xinhua reported.

On June 7, Putin ordered the State Border Service to undertake appropriate steps to tighten control on the Russian-Ukrainian borders to curb illegal crossings.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Brussels Thursday that at least a few thousand more Russian troops have been deployed in what he said was a new Russian military build-up around the Ukrainian borders.

Rasmussen called it a very regrettable step backwards.

Peskov noted the order was issued due to frequent violations of the Russia-Ukraine borders.

On Thursday, Putin, in phone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, expressed the hope that Ukrainian authorities would stop violence and start a national dialogue without delay.

According to Putin's aide Yuri Ushakov, the president will continue these tripartite consultations in the coming days.


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