US accusations that Russia is not respecting its neighbours' sovereignty are 'confrontational', says Moscow

Tensions between Russia and Western powers show no sign of thawing

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The Independent Online

Russia has accused the US of adopting “confrontational” tactics, after the Pentagon updated its military strategy on Moscow amid the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

Tensions between Russia and western powers have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, partly because of the pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow has said Washington risks setting back efforts to improve already deteriorating relations after the Pentagon updated the US National Military Strategy on Russia to consider its role in the bloody conflict which has killed over 6,400 people, according to the UN.

The document published on Wednesday credited Russia for contributing to maintaining global security by fighting the narcotics trade and terrorism.

However, Moscow also “repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbours and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals”, according to the US body.

The document went on: “Russia's military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces."

Nevertheless, the military strategy maintained that Washington wanted to engage with Russia in areas of common interest.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to the strategy change in a conference call with reporters.

“The use of such language in this document points, shall we say, to what is probably a confrontational attitude devoid of any objectivity towards our country,” he said.

Mirroring calls for the US and Russia to co-operate on global matters, he added: “Of course this will hardly contribute to attempts to steer bilateral relations in the direction of normalisation.”

In the wake of Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine last year, the US and the European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia.

World leaders have also accused Russia of supplying pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine with weapons and soldiers – charges Moscow denies.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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