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Russia bars certain EU officials from entry as tensions rise along Ukrainian border Updated: 2022-01-29 13:08:25 KST

The European Union on Friday denounced Moscow's decision to ban an unknown number of representatives of EU member states and institutions from entering Russia.
In a statement, the EU accused the country of fueling a tense climate in Europe with a measure that "lacks any legal justification and transparency" instead of de-escalating the ongoing tensions on the Ukrainian border.
It added that Russia will meet a "appropriate response."
This comes amid increasing international concerns that Russia may be gearing up to invade Ukraine.
The Kremlin has denied this, but is refusing Western leaders' calls to withdraw some 100,000 troops it has mobilized on the border.
Three U.S. officials told Reuters that Moscow has added blood and other medical supplies to its military buildup near Ukraine which experts say may be an indicator of preparations for a large-scale military operation.
However, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused the White House of damaging his nation's economy by excessively arousing panic that Russia may be planning an invasion.
The leader has also said that the U.S. advising its embassy workers and their families to evacuate was an overreaction, saying Ukraine is not the Titanic.
Russia has been demanding binding security guarantees from the West, including permanently prohibiting Ukraine from NATO membership, but NATO and the U.S. have made it clear that the organization's open door policy is non-negotiable.
The Pentagon has placed about 8,500 troops on stand-by for potential deployment to NATO member states in Eastern Europe.
But it has ruled out sending troops to Ukraine in the event of a Russian assault and instead urged Moscow to engage in dialogue.

"First, conflict is not inevitable. There is still time and space for diplomacy. The United States, in lockstep with our allies and partners, has offered Russia a path away from crisis and toward greater security"

"And if war were to break out on a scale and scope that is possible, the civilian population will suffer immensely."

Russia's state-owned news agency Sputnik reported on Friday that it's possible another meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov may take place sometime next week.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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