Kyiv, Jan 24: NATO on Monday released a statement where it stated that it is reinforcing its defense in Eastern Europe with ships and fighter jets in response to Russia’s military build-up at Ukraine’s borders.
Though Moscow has denied any plan to invade Ukraine, NATO’s move strongly signals that the West is bracing for an aggressive Russian move to invade the Ukraine borders.
“I welcome allies contributing additional forces to NATO,” the Western military alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. “NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the alliance,” he added.
In the meanwhile, Britain and the US were seen concerned about their citizens in Ukraine. The US has advised its diplomats’ family members to leave the country while Britain has started withdrawing some of its staff and dependants from its embassy in Ukraine in response to “a growing threat from Russia”.
“Military action by Russia could come at any time. Officials will not be in a position to evacuate American citizens in such a contingency, so US citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly,” the US Embassy said in a statement.
Meanwhile, The Russia-US talks over the Ukraine matter on Friday failed to produce any resolution. Russia is demanding NATO to drop the promises of letting Ukraine join the alliance one day and withdrawing troops and weaponry from former Communist countries in Eastern Europe that joined the alliance after the Cold War.
However, Washington has disagreed to the demands but is ready to discuss other ideas on arms control, missile deployments, and confidence-building measures.
Notably, around 100,000 Russian troops have been posted within reach of the Ukrainian border while Russia is awaiting a written response to its demands this week.