This might turn out to be Biden’s first real test regarding his strength in foreign affairs.
In the face of significant and unusual deployment of Russian soldiers on Ukraine’s boundaries, NATO Director-General Jens Stoltenberg told Russia on Monday the European military coalition was sticking by Ukraine.
This can get serious
Stoltenberg asked Moscow to be honest about Army activity in order to calm tensions and avoid an escalation. The director-general emphasized the most important thing right now is to keep things from spiraling out of hand.
“We must be clear-eyed and honest in our assessment of the issues we confront. What we’re seeing is a massive, large-scale military build-up in Russia,” Stoltenberg said during a press conference in Amsterdam with Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
British ministers are expected to travel to Ukraine as early as next week to prepare a defense pact. A British outlet is also reporting that 600 British troops may be deployed to Ukraine. This amid a Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s borders and US warning of further invasion
— Olga Lautman (@OlgaNYC1211) November 14, 2021
“We observe an unusual buildup of forces; we understand Moscow has been prepared to deploy these kinds of military assets beforehand to conduct aggressive measures against Ukraine,” he added.
Russian Army deployments in recent days have sparked worries of an impending strike. Such ideas have been rebuffed by Moscow as provocative, and the NATO western alliance increased its activity in the region.
Regardless of the fact most nations still recognize Crimea as Ukrainian, Russia annexed the region in 2014 and claims ownership of the waters surrounding it.
Secessionists backed by Russia seized control of Ukraine’s east Donbas area during the same year; troops from both sides have been slain on a regular basis since then.
‘The Kremlin said the sudden deployment was for snap drills, but it coincided with a buildup of Russian military forces near the Ukrainian frontier and was contributing to rising European and American alarm.’ Russians at Belarusian border. 1/2 https://t.co/ZkDcuFFkjQ
— AnObserver (@WatchingEurasia) November 13, 2021
This is a huge buildup
According to Stoltenberg, the military border build-up (which Ukraine assessed at 100,000 the other week) was risky since it lowered the amount of warning period if Russia decided to “perform a military aggressive move on Ukraine.”
“We see insurgents, secessionists in Donbas, that are also part of Ukraine, backed and assisted by Russia,” he said. “This is partly troops near a border between Ukraine and Russia.”
“It is also least in part soldiers and abilities inside Ukraine, – this means they are in Crimea, which is unlawfully invaded and occupied.”
“Large equipment like tanks, self-propelled howitzers, and infantry combat vehicles is relocated at night to prevent telltale photos showing up on the internet, as they did during the Russian Army build-up in early summer,” a NATO source said when asked to explain how Moscow is deploying its military hardware to Ukraine.
“It may go either way,” Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said to journalists on the sidelines of a session with his European Union peers on Monday.
While world attention is directed on the Belarus migrant problem, the West cannot rule out a Russian strike on Ukraine or the establishment of persistent military involvement in Belarus, he said.
He said, “I wouldn’t rule out that possibility.”