The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has accused the West of demonizing Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, insisting his country was not threatening anyone in an interview broadcast on Russian state television on Sunday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has himself also rejected accusations that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine.
Adding to existing tensions, such accusations were "once more being made with the aim of further demonizing Russia," Peskov said, lamenting that Russia was consistently portrayed as an "aggressor."
The G7 group of the world's leading industrialized economies issued an urgent warning to Russia at the weekend against attacking Ukraine, threatening severe consequences should it do so.
Putin also exchanged views on Ukraine with US President Joe Biden during a video summit on Tuesday in which the Kremlin leader criticized NATO's eastward expansion.
Most recently, NATO reports of a build up of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has caused international concern. According to NATO sources, Russia currently has between 75,000 and 100,000 soldiers in the border region, provoking fears that a Russian attack on Ukraine could be imminent.
US plane in Ukraine
Russia has repeatedly denied that it was planning such an attack, however.
Russian media reported on Sunday that a US reconnaissance plane had been deployed in Ukraine for the first time. Moscow has long looked for indications that Kiev would try to re-take areas in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
As such a move would be a violation of the 2015 Minsk peace plan, Russia could then potentially invade the breakaway Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk to protect its own citizens, a legitimate grounds for foreign intervention according to the country's own military doctrine.
Putin has attracted widespread international criticism for distributing Russian passports to hundreds of thousands of ethnic-Russian Ukrainians in the Donbass.