Polish minister says Ukraine has right to self-defence

The Polish foreign minister has said Ukraine has the right to defend itself as Russia builds up its forces on the Ukrainian border.

Zbigniew Rau made the statement during an emergency trip to Kiev on Thursday prompted by the escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and has been supporting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's eastern provinces.

During the visit Rau met his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, the Polish Foreign Ministry has reported.

"Ukraine has the right to defend itself!" Rau was quoted as saying in his ministry's report.

The two ministers discussed the rising tensions along the Ukrainian border and the construction of Nord Stream 2, the controversial Russia-Germany gas pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine and endangers, according to its critics, energy security in Eastern Europe.

Russia says the troop movements are defensive and a senior Russian official has said Moscow has no plans to intervene in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev says has killed 14,000 people since 2014. Russia has denied sending troops and heavy weapons to Donbass.