The U.S. and the U.K sent a stern warning to Russia and President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday over any new military aggression that Moscow directs against Ukraine. This comes as NATO’s 30 members met to discuss Moscow’s intentions for massing 90,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.

Meanwhile, Putin issued a warning of his own. He said that NATO and the U.S. deploying troops to Ukraine is a red line for Russia and would trigger a strong response. Both sides claim that they are worried about troops being massed on the border. 

Amid this morass of rising tensions and tough talk comes news that Russia and Belarus are going to conduct more joint military drills to “cover our southern borders” according to Belarus government officials. 

Ukrainian officials are worried about the Russian troops on their border. The troops had taken part in military drills earlier this year and remained with much of their equipment. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has claimed that Ukraine’s intelligence service uncovered a Russian coup d’état plot last week. Russia not only denied the allegation and rejected any plans to invade Ukraine, but claimed that the West and NATO are trying to use Ukraine to stockpile weapons to use against Russia. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of provocations in Ukraine while moving 90,000 troops to the border. (AP)

Speaking to an online forum on Tuesday, Putin said that NATO is expanding eastward and this threatens Russian security. He claimed that NATO could eventually use the Ukrainian territory to deploy missiles capable of reaching Moscow in just five minutes.

“The emergence of such threats represents a ‘red line’ for us,” Putin said. “I hope that it will not get to that and common sense and responsibility for their own countries and the global community will eventually prevail.”

While Ukraine is not a member of NATO, its security has become a cause of concern for the alliance. American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was set to brief the other NATO nations on the current U.S. intelligence on Ukraine.