(Brussels) The NATO Secretary General said on Wednesday that Russia continues to reinforce its significant military presence on the border with Ukraine, which “at this stage” does not see any sign of de-escalation despite Moscow’s statements.
Posted at 6:15 a.m.
We haven’t seen any de-escalation on the ground at this point. On the contrary, it seems that Russia continues to strengthen its military presence […] At the beginning of a meeting with NATO defense ministers in Brussels, Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia is still able to invade Ukraine without warning, and the capabilities are there “with more than 100,000 soldiers.
German Minister Christine Lambrecht stressed that “the reinforcement of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border remains a source of concern.”
We have heard messages from Moscow about its willingness to continue diplomatic efforts, and we are ready to discuss. Jens Stoltenberg added: “Russia must walk the rhetoric, withdraw its forces, and de-escalate tensions.”
We are closely following what Russia is doing. He stressed the arrival of troops and heavy equipment and then the withdrawal of forces, but the equipment and capabilities are still there.
We want to see a real and lasting withdrawal, not just a continuous movement of forces […] And he concluded: “We are ready for our reunion with Russia, but we are preparing for the worst.”
“There are signs that give us hope. But it is important to keep a close eye on whether these words are followed by action,” the German minister said.
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