US pressure is mounting on Russia to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border.
Kiev believes NATO and Ukrainian foreign ministers met yesterday in the Latvian capital, Riga, with 90,000 Russian troops.
“We do not know whether President Putin decided to invade,” said US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen. “We know he’s developing the ability to do that in the future.”
Blinken threatened sanctions if it increased further. “We have made it clear that if Russia is to take the course of the conflict over Ukraine, it will act decisively, including the high-impact economic measures we have not taken in the past.”
The Kremlin said it could not be mitigated because of the high concentration of Ukrainian armed forces near the border. The Russians claim that the Ukrainians are preparing to forcibly recapture areas controlled by Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass region.
In addition to the troop movements, the Russians also carried out a maneuver involving more than 10,000 soldiers. They were stationed at more than 30 training grounds, including the Rostov region, which borders Russia, Crimea and the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
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