KIEV (Reuters) -- Invoking European security arrangements, Ukraine has asked Moscow to explain and give details of its military exercises near their border within 48 hours, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

In a statement in response to remarks by the Russian defense minister earlier in the day announcing exercises linked to tension in Ukraine, the ministry said Russia was trying to influence Kiev's efforts to fight separatist militants in the east.

It said that under the Vienna Document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, it was entitled to an account of the goals and other details of the exercises within 48 hours of its request -- namely noon GMT on Saturday.

"Conducting Russian exercises close to the Ukrainian border cannot but raise concerns, especially after the recent declaration by the Russian foreign minister, containing an unambiguous hint about the possibility of Russian troops entering Ukrainian territory," the ministry said.