scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Saturday, November 27, 2021

NATO warns Russia over Ukraine troop build-up

Stressing that the important thing now was to prevent situations from spiralling out of control, Stoltenberg urged Russia to be transparent about military activities, to reduce tensions and prevent an escalation.

By: Reuters | Brussels |
November 15, 2021 8:39:20 pm
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a news conference following the talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kiev, Ukraine October 31, 2019. (Reuters)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia on Monday that the western military alliance was standing by Ukraine amid a large and unusual concentration of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders.

Stressing that the important thing now was to prevent situations from spiralling out of control, Stoltenberg urged Russia to be transparent about military activities, to reduce tensions and prevent an escalation.

“We have to be clear-eyed, we need to be realistic about the challenges we face. And what we see is a significant, large Russian military build-up,” Stoltenberg told a news conference with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Brussels.

He said he did not want to speculate about Russia’s intentions but added: “We see an unusual concentration of troops, and we know that Russia has been willing to use these types of military capabilities before to conduct aggressive actions against Ukraine.”

The Russian troop movements near the Ukrainian border have over the past days spurred fears of a possible attack. Moscow has dismissed such suggestions as inflammatory and complained about increasing activity in the region by the NATO transatlantic alliance.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and says the waters around it belong to Moscow now, despite most countries continuing to recognise the peninsula as Ukrainian.

Russian-backed separatists took control of Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region that same year and soldiers on both sides continue to be regularly killed in the conflict there.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week that there were nearly 100,000 Russian soldiers near Ukraine’s border.

Stoltenberg said the build-up near the border was dangerous because it reduced the amount of warning time, should Russia decide to “conduct a military aggressive action against Ukraine.” Kuleba also said he was worried that Russia could quickly activate massed troops at the border.

“It can go either way,” Lithuania’s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters, also on Monday, on the margins of a meeting with his European Union counterparts.

The West cannot exclude a Russian attack on Ukraine while international attention is focused on the Belarus migration crisis, or that Russia establishes a permanent military presence in Belarus, he said.

“I would not exclude that as a possibility,” he said.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement