MOSCOW, Jan 25 — The Kremlin today said Washington’s actions and statements around Ukraine were escalating tensions and that Russia was watching with great concern after the United States put 8,500 troops on alert to be ready to deploy to Europe if needed.

Nato said yesterday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets, in what Russia denounced as Western “hysteria” in response to its build-up of troops on the Ukraine border. — Reuters