Russia blasts UK claims that it sought puppet gov in Ukraine

TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (MNA) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has slammed unsubstantiated claims aired by the UK on Saturday that suggested Moscow was intending to "install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine amid the latest surge in tensions.

A statement by the ministry labelled the UK accusations as another effort by Western nations to escalate tensions in the region, underscoring that the so-called "exposed" findings were "nonsense".

"The disinformation spread by the British Foreign Office is yet more evidence that it is the NATO countries, led by the Anglo-Saxons, that are escalating tensions around Ukraine", reads the statement, before urging the parties to "halt provocative activities", Sputnik reported.

The release was issued shortly after the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office accused Russia of trying to install a "pro-Russian leader" in Ukraine, and of maintaining links with former Ukrainian politicians.

An earlier statement by British authorities stated that investigators are in the possession of "information that indicates the Russian government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine".

The UK declaration comes after Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said earlier on Saturday that Moscow anticipated military and informational provocations from the West and Ukraine on the eve of the Beijing Olympics.

Russia has repeatedly denied accusations that it intends to invade neighbouring Ukraine, a purported move that has grabbed headlines for several months.

ZZ/PR

News Code 183170

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