Russia should not further provoke and aggressively treat Ukraine, warns NATO. CEO Jens Stoltenberg is concerned about all the troops that Russia is gathering on the Ukrainian border.
This increases the danger that Russia will surprise Ukraine, he says. Then, Russia can strike faster, and Ukraine and its allies have less time to do something about it.
Russia has now gathered 100,000 men in the border region, Ukraine says. The country is concerned because Russia has already annexed the Crimea peninsula and has come to aid rebels in the east of the country.
Stoltenberg swears to Ukrainian foreign minister Dmitro Koeleba, who visited him on Monday to count on NATO. Ukraine is not part of the alliance, but it does want to protect the country’s sovereignty. NATO chief wants “not to speculate too much” about the “great and unusual build-up” of troops, “but we also have to be honest. Russia has shown in the past that it is able and willing to use force against Ukraine .”
The NATO chief alluded to a link between tensions over Ukraine, the migration crisis on the Belarus-EU border and tensions in the Western Balkans. Many NATO countries always see the hand of Moscow in this. “Several things are happening at the same time. So we call on Russia to de-escalate, reduce tensions and be transparent about military activities in and around Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.