NATO chief warns of ‘significant’ Russian military build-up along Ukraine border.
The NATO chief said on Monday that the military alliance is closely monitoring large concentrations of Russian forces near Ukraine’s borders and is urging Moscow to be “transparent” and “prevent escalation” in a bid to reduce the tensions.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter that he had met with Ukrainian Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba to discuss the situation near the Ukraine-Russia border.
“What we see is a large, significant Russian military build-up, we see an unusual concentration of troops, and we know that Russia has been willing to use these kinds of military capabilities before to carry out aggressive actions against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.
Discussed the security situation in & around #Ukraine with Foreign Minister @DmytroKuleba. #NATO is closely monitoring the large and unusual concentrations of Russian forces close to Ukraine's borders. We call on Russia to be transparent, prevent escalation & reduce tensions. pic.twitter.com/UWYytYYRBg
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) November 15, 2021
“Army of Russia [maneuvers], the energy crisis in Europe, the dramatic use of migrants as a weapon on the borders of Poland and Lithuania with Belarus, and massive disinformation are not isolated,” Kuleba said in a tweet.
The Ukrainian diplomat said it was all part of what he called “Russia’s hybrid war against the European and Euro-Atlantic community.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on November 13 that some 100,000 Russian soldiers and heavy equipment, including tanks, were moving near the shared border with Ukraine.
The movement of troops on the Russian side has raised fears of a possible invasion. Secretary of state Antony blinkenAntony BlinkenBlinken asks Cuba to respect rights ahead of planned protests Blinken expresses concern about pressure on Taiwan in a call with his Chinese counterpart.
Is Russia about to make a “serious mistake” in Ukraine? PLUS He said last week that the United States is concerned that Russia may launch an invasion of Ukraine and attempt a land grab similar to the military takeover of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.
“Our concern is that Russia may make the grave mistake of trying to repeat what it undertook in 2014, when it accumulated forces along the border, crossed into sovereign territory of Ukraine and did so by falsely claiming that it was provoked,” he added. .
“I hope that now the whole world can see clearly who really wants peace and who is concentrating almost 100,000 soldiers on our border,” he added. Zelenskiy said in a video message earlier this month.
Russia, however, has denied that the military build-up is a sign of a possible invasion and said in a statement on Friday that “the movement of troops in our territory should not be of concern to anyone.”
“Russia does not threaten anyone,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a conference call.