“In recent weeks we have seen large and unusual gatherings of the Russian armed forces on the Ukrainian border,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels, which included Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Koiliba. Further provocations or aggression would be cause for concern, Stoltenberg said, adding that NATO was monitoring the situation “closely”.
Kuleba said good coordination is now important to deter Russia. No matter how high the price of deterrence, the minister said, the price of conflict is higher.
Since 2014, parts of the eastern regions of Ukraine in Luhansk and Donetsk, that is, the Donetsk Basin, have come under the control of Russian-backed separatists. Moscow has responded in recent weeks to similar accusations that it can move its forces inside its territory as it sees fit. The Russians were also upset by NATO’s military exercises in the Black Sea, calling them “provocative.”
It is said that in recent weeks Russia has amassed 100,000 soldiers near the borders of Ukraine. This would be the case, for example, in Crimea occupied in 2014 and along the eastern borders near Luhansk and Donetsk. At the beginning of this year, Russia also massed many troops in that region, but they have since disappeared. Remarkably, the crisis related to Ukraine comes at the same time as another conflict between East and West, the conflict between the European Union and Belarus, Russia’s ally. Belarus will force thousands of migrants and refugees from the Middle East to cross the border into European Union member Poland in retaliation for Western sanctions against the regime in Minsk.
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