Russia, which is building up its forces around Ukrainian borders, must understand that a new attack on its neighbour would be too costly, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Thursday.

“The main goal is to restrain Russia from further aggressive actions. To do this, Moscow must clearly understand what political, economic and human losses it will incur in the event of a new stage of aggression,” Kuleba told a televised briefing.

Ukraine, the United States and NATO have voiced concerns about a possible Russian attack on its southern neighbour – a suggestion the Kremlin has dismissed as false.

Last week, the White House called on Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine, saying it has raised its concerns about Moscow’s military buildup directly.

“We also continue to have serious concerns about Russian military activities and harsh rhetoric towards Ukraine and call on Moscow to de-escalate tensions,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

President Vladimir Putin  issued his own warnings.

He said the West was taking Russia’s directives not to cross its “red lines” too lightly.

The Kremlin said those remarks were a response to provocative actions by NATO including the arming of Ukraine.

Ukraine objects to increasing Russian military activity near the 1 944 km border it shares with Russia.

Despite a growing list of disputes, the Kremlin has maintained high-level contacts with Washington and spoken repeatedly of a possible summit between Putin and US President Joe Biden to follow up their initial meeting in Geneva in June, which Putin said had opened up room for an improvement in ties.