Speaking after meeting Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in Kyiv, Blinken said Russia had amassed "very significant forces" on Ukraine ’ s borders, including in Belarus where major exercises are due to begin next month.

He will then meet Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday.

Blinken added : “ We have to base our actions on the facts. ” After Kyiv, Blinken is due to travel to Berlin for talks with German and European allies.

russia has brushed off calls to withdraw its troops from the ukrainian border by saying it has a right to deploy its forces wherever it likes on its own territory.

On Monday, Lavrov, Russia's top diplomat, rejected the U.S. allegations that his country was preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters, he dismissed the U.S. claim as "total disinformation."

Speaking at a meeting of the Valdai discussion club, Ryabkov repeated Moscow's denials it had plans to attack Ukraine.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who led recent negotiations with the US in Geneva, said his country did not "intend to take any aggressive actions".

It would be an easier path for the US," he added.

Russia was planning to deploy 12 Sukhoi Su-35 air defence fighters to Belarus for the exercises, along with S-400 and Pantsir anti-air defence systems, the ministry said in a statement.

The UK has promised anti-tank weapons to Ukraine in response to a Russian military build-up on the border, with around 100 British troops involved in a training operation.

The CIA director, William Burns, visited Kyiv last week and shared its risk assessment with Zelenskiy's cabinet, a US official said.

count on enhancing economic consequences in the event of invasion.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with his Russian counterpart in Switzerland this week as tensions between the U.S. and Russia escalate over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, the State Department said.

moscow is sending troops from the country's far east to belarus for drills, a deployment that will increase the number of military build-up near ukraine's borders.

Stressing the US's close ties with Ukraine, Mr Blinken vowed "relentless" diplomacy to stop Russian aggression.

"we will not strike, attack or invade.

Russia denies any plans to attack but said it could take unspecified military action unless its demands- including a promise by the NATO alliance to never admit Ukraine- are met.

Blinken's meetings follow inconclusive diplomatic talks between Moscow and the West in Europe last week that failed to resolve stark disagreements over Ukraine and other security matters.

Russia in 2014 seized the Crimean Peninsula after the ouster of Ukraine's Moscow-friendly leader and also threw its weight behind a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Mr Ryabkov also called on Washington to stop its military support for Ukraine, which he said posed a direct threat to Russian security.

Mr Blinken's visit to Kyiv was described as a bid to "reinforce the United States' commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity", before talks in Berlin on Thursday with German, French and British counterparts.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who visited Moscow on Tuesday, has warned that any further military escalation "would carry a high price for the Russian regime- economic, political and strategic".

Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has urged Western governments to impose immediate sanctions on Moscow.

Washington and the Kremlin's top diplomats are set to meet for talks in Switzerland on Friday, stepping up efforts as tensions escalate amid fears of a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Ukraine-Russia tensions : Inside the eerie village on the frontline of separatist conflict Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his Cabinet on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin "must not be allowed to rewrite the rules" of international relations as tensions continued to mount.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday, before heading to Berlin to discuss "joint efforts to deter further Russian aggression against Ukraine" with German, British and French officials.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the situation is "extremely dangerous", adding that : "We 're now at the stage where Russia could, at any point, launch an attack in Ukraine."

He said he blames the current president for failing to "mobilise" and unite the nation.

Instead, those meetings appear to have increased fears of a Russian invasion, and the Biden administration has accused Russia of preparing a "false flag operation" to use as a pretext for intervention.

In Geneva on Friday, Blinken will be testing Lavrov on Russia's interest in a "diplomatic off-ramp" for the crisis, a senior State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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