Speaking at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Monday, Russia’s permanent representative to the parent body  in New York, Vassily Nebenzia, blasted what he described as the war-like rhetoric of the West over Ukraine.

“Our Western partners talk about the need for de-escalation, but first of all themselves ramp up tension with their rhetoric and provoke an escalation. Talk about an impending war is provocative in itself,” Nebenzia said, accusing the West of seeking to spark a conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Over the past few months, top Western politicians and media outlets have repeatedly warned of an allegedly imminent “invasion” of Ukraine being prepared by Moscow. Russia has consistently denied the claims, rubbishing the accusations that it’s amassing troops on the Ukrainian border, which is touted by as ‘proof’ of such plans.

“Where did the figure of a hundred thousand military personnel come from, which, as you say, are located on the Russian-Ukrainian border, although this is not true?” Nebenzia asked.

This highly-charged rhetoric surrounding Ukraine benefits only the West and the US in particular, Nebenzia stressed.

“It seems that our American colleagues are ready to sacrifice Ukraine to their geopolitical interests,” he said.

The diplomat also noted that even the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been urging the West to tone down the rhetoric. On Friday, Zelensky said that Kiev has not been “seeing any greater escalation than it has been before,” whereas press coverage and political statements looked like “we are at war already.”