On Tuesday, Russia said that it was watching with great concern after the US put 8,500 troops on alert to be ready to deploy to Europe in the event of an escalation in the Ukraine situation.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, accused Washington of escalating tensions over Ukraine, maintaining Moscow's claim that the situation is being caused by US and NATO actions rather than its own tens of thousands of troops stationed near the Ukrainian border.

Western states accuse Russia of plotting a new attack on Ukraine, which it invaded in 2014. Moscow denies any such plan but warns that unless demands are met, including a NATO promise never to accept Kyiv, it could take unspecified military action.

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NATO announced on Monday that it was placing forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets. Russia denounced the efforts as "hysterical" on the part of the West. 

According to Peskov, President Vladimir Putin will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron this week, who will also meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Russia is awaiting a written answer from the US this week to its list of security demands, some of which Washington has dismissed as non-starters.

The US troop alert, according to Peskov, had no effect on negotiations because the current phase of talks had been completed.