North Atlantic Treaty Organisation tells Russian Federation to end Ukraine military build-up

Joanna Estrada
April 13, 2021

The Russian military, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that they were sending 15 warships from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea for what they described as planned military drills.

Two U.S. warships are due to arrive in the Black Sea this week.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed to Brussels on Tuesday to meet with European and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies on a range of issues, including Russia's buildup of forces along the border with Ukraine and coalition operations in Afghanistan.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov denounced the latest deployment as "openly provocative", adding that "American ships have absolutely nothing to do near our shores".

Ukraine - which applied to join the US-backed alliance in 2008 - is pressing Western powers for "practical" support as it seeks to deter any new aggression from Moscow.

Ryabkov's remarks suggest that the diplomatic niceties which the former Cold War enemies have generally sought to observe in recent decades is fraying, and that Russian Federation would robustly push back against what it regards as unacceptable US interference in its sphere of influence.

Russia's recent movement of troops to the border area has raised concerns in the United States and elsewhere.

"We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast". We call on Russian Federation to cease its provocations and to immediately de-escalate tensions in line with its worldwide obligations.

Russia continued to ratchet up the war rhetoric on Tuesday as a top Russian diplomat warned the USA against stoking tensions in the region, criticising its plans to send warships to the Black Sea.

Echoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who met Kuleba earlier, Blinken said Moscow was massing forces in its biggest build-up since 2014, since Moscow annexed Crimea.

But while highlighting the support of NATO, Kuleba also said, "Should Russia take any reckless move or start a new spiral of violence, it will be costly in all senses". In addition, the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine by the armed formations of the Russian Federation has increased; there are losses among the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

"At the operational level, we need measures which will deter Russian Federation and which will contain its aggressive intentions. The United States is committed to rebuilding USA alliances, particularly with our NATO Allies", Blinken Tweeted on Monday.

Stoltenberg's comments came ahead of an emergency meeting of allied foreign and defense ministers over the conflict in the eastern Ukraine region.

Recalling our last statement of 18 March, we reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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