NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he is concerned over the recent reports from the eastern Ukraine that mark a serious escalation of the crisis in the region, NATO press service told Interfax-Ukraine.
"I am concerned about reports that pro-Russian armed gangs are acquiring heavy weapons from Russia, including Russian tanks. We have seen reports that Russian tanks and other armored vehicles may have crossed the border into eastern Ukraine. If these reports are confirmed, this would mark a serious escalation of the crisis in eastern Ukraine," Rasmussen said. He once again urged Russia " to complete the withdrawal of its military forces on the border with Ukraine, to stop the flow of weapons and fighters across the border, and to exercise its influence among armed separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence." "We call on the Russian Federation to meet its Geneva commitments and cooperate with the government of Ukraine as it implements its plans for promoting peace, unity and reform," the NATO Secretary General said.