By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - Britain on Thursday condemned Russian "provocation and aggression" on the border of Ukraine.
"I condemn the Kremlin's aggressive and inflammatory rhetoric against Ukraine and NATO. NATO is a defensive alliance and Ukraine continues to show commendable restraint in the face of Russian provocation and aggression," Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.
Describing the buildup by Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and in illegally-annexed Crimea "unacceptable," Truss said any Russian incursion would be "a massive strategic mistake and would be met with strength, including coordinated sanctions with our allies to impose a severe cost on Russia’s interests and economy."
"The UK's support for Ukraine is unwavering."
The British foreign secretary also underlined that "the only way out of the current situation for Russia is through dialogue and I welcome the fact that Russia has signalled it is willing to enter talks in January."
She added that Moscow "needs to de-escalate its activities and engage in serious discussions."
Truss also said on Twitter that she discussed the matter with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that the US agreed to start talks on security guarantees for Russia early next year in Geneva.
Speaking at an annual news conference in Moscow, Putin said that so far, the US reaction to Russia's proposal on security guarantees was positive.
"Our American partners say they are ready to start these negotiations at the very beginning of the next year in Geneva," he said.
In 2014, Russia began to support separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government, a policy that it has maintained for the past seven years.
For the second time this year, Moscow reportedly concentrated significant military troops in and around Ukraine last month.