How the US and Russia are feuding over Ukraine
Post-revolutionary Russia is the latest country to be targeted by the US-led NATO alliance.
In November, the alliance began a new round of bombing campaign against its former client in eastern Ukraine, killing scores of civilians.
The new campaign has come as Russia is increasingly embroiled in a series of internal conflicts, and the Kremlin has repeatedly said it would not accept a US-brokered settlement.
“It’s a matter of trust and cooperation between Russia and the US, and also between the allies and Russia.
And also between Russia as a whole,” the defence minister of the Baltic states, Alexander Vershbow, said on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said there were “very strong, very positive signs” that Russia was not going to back down in the conflict.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the US of backing a “fascist and dangerous regime” in Ukraine.
US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter said on Thursday that Russia “has a very serious and very real choice to make”.
“Russia has a choice, and that is between its own people, and its neighbours,” he said, referring to the Russian-speaking people of eastern Ukraine.
“Or do you take an extreme course and take a step back from the world?”
“The choice that we are now taking is a choice between Russia, or between the international community and the international law.”
Russia has said it will not recognise any unilateral decisions by the new Ukrainian government and will fight any move by the West to sanction Russia.
The US has said that any action taken by the Ukrainian government, which includes sanctions against Russian companies and individuals, would have no effect on Russia.