- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Russia that the western military alliance was standing by Ukraine.
- Russian army deployments in recent days have sparked worries of an impending strike.
In the face of significant and unusual deployment of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Russia that the western military alliance was standing by Ukraine.
Stoltenberg asked Russia to be honest about military activity to calm tensions and prevent an escalation, emphasising that the most important thing right now was to keep things from spiralling out of hand.
“We must be clear-eyed and objective in our assessment of the issues we confront.” “What we perceive is a huge, large Russian military build-up,” Stoltenberg said during a press conference in Brussels with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
“We observe an unusual concentration of forces, and we know that Russia has been willing to deploy these types of military capabilities previously to conduct aggressive measures against Ukraine,” he said.
Russian army deployments in recent days have sparked worries of an impending strike. Moscow has rebuffed such ideas as provocative, and the NATO transatlantic alliance has increased its activity in the region.
Although most countries continue to regard Crimea as Ukrainian, Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014 and claims ownership of the waters surrounding it.
Separatists backed by Russia seized control of Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region the same year, and soldiers from both sides have been slain regularly since then.
According to Stoltenberg, the border soldier build-up – which Ukraine estimated at 100,000 last week – was risky because it lowered the amount of warning time if Russia decided to “perform an aggressive military move against Ukraine.”
“We see militants, separatists in Donbass, which is also part of Ukraine, supported and helped by Russia,” he said.
“This is partly forces close to the Russian-Ukraine border, but it’s also troops and capabilities inside Ukraine, meaning they’re in Crimea, which is illegally annexed, and we see militants, separatists in Donbass, which is also part of Ukraine.”
“Large equipment such as tanks, self-propelled artillery, and infantry fighting vehicles are moved at night to avoid tell-tale pictures showing up on social media as they did during the Russian military build-up in spring,” a NATO source said when asked to describe how Russia is going about deploying its military equipment to Ukraine.
“It may go either way,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with his European Union peers on Monday.
While world attention is focused on the Belarus migrant problem, the West cannot rule out a Russian strike on Ukraine or establish a permanent military presence in Belarus.
Source: Global news
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