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Ukraine's FM: Kiev and the Ukrainian people are ready to fight if Russian troops invade

  • Czech Republic Ukraine -1.jpg

    Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andriy Deshchytisa speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, during a meeting on the 5th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Deshchytisa described Russian military exercise close to the Ukrainian border as a provocation. The Eastern Partnership is a European initiative launched in 2009 aimed at strengthening relations between the EU and its eastern neighbours, in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.(AP Photo/Petr David Josek) (The Associated Press)

  • Czech Republic Ukraine -2.jpg

    Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andriy Deshchytisa speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, during a meeting on the 5th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Deshchytisa described Russian military exercise close to the Ukrainian border as a provocation. The Eastern Partnership is a European initiative launched in 2009 aimed at strengthening relations between the EU and its eastern neighbours, in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.(AP Photo/Petr David Josek) (The Associated Press)

  • Czech Republic Ukraine -3.jpg

    Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andriy Deshchytisa speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, during a meeting on the 5th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, April 24, 2014. Deshchytisa described Russian military exercise close to the Ukrainian border as a provocation. The Eastern Partnership is a European initiative launched in 2009 aimed at strengthening relations between the EU and its eastern neighbours, in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) (The Associated Press)

Ukraine's foreign minister has blasted the Russian decision to start military maneuvers along Ukraine's border and said his country will fight any invading troops.

Andriy Deshchytisa said Russia's decision Thursday to launch the military exercises "very much escalates the situation in the region."

Talking to The Associated Press in Prague, Deshchytisa says his country has been taught a lesson by Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. He says "having this experience, we will now fight with Russian troops if ... they invade Ukraine."

He says "Ukrainian people and Ukrainian army are ready to do this."

Deshchytisa says the new Russian military exercises are taking place "even closer to the Ukrainian border than it was planned earlier" and demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops.