BRUSSELS, Aug 15 (Reuters) - NATO said on Friday that Russia, while calling for de-escalation of the Ukraine conflict, had in fact been escalating it.
NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the alliance was checking eyewitness reports in two British newspapers on Friday that a column of at least 23 Russian military vehicles had crossed into Ukraine overnight.
"If confirmed, they are further evidence that Russia is doing the very opposite of what it's saying. Russia has been escalating the conflict, even as it calls for de-escalation," she said in response to a question from Reuters.
"It is high time that Russia did what it says it wants to do, which is to contribute to a peaceful solution. Russia needs to pull back its troops, stop the flow of arms and fighters over the border with Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists and engage in a genuine and sincere dialogue with Ukraine."
(Reporting by Adrian Croft, editing by John Stonestreet)