The Kremlin on Thursday accused NATO of "provoking" Kyiv into prolonging the conflict in Ukraine, whose officials have been appealing for permission from allies to target Russia with Western-supplied weapons.

The comments came as NATO foreign ministers were convening in Prague in the face of growing calls for leading allies to lift restrictions stopping Kyiv from using Western weapons to strike inside Russia.

"NATO member states, the United States, and capitals in Europe in recent days and weeks have been entering a new round of escalations in tensions and they are doing it deliberately," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"They are provoking Ukraine in every possible way into continuing this senseless war," Peskov told reporters during a daily briefing.

Ukraine has been pressing its supporters -- chiefly the United States -- to allow it to use the longer-range weaponry they supply to hit targets inside Russia.

The United States and Germany have so far refused to permit Kyiv to strike over the border out of fear that it could drag them closer to direct conflict with Moscow.