Tensions rose on Monday between Russia and the West that Moscow plans to invade Ukraine, NATO outlined possible troop and ship deployments, Britain said it would withdraw some diplomats from Kiev, And Ireland described the upcoming Russian war games off its coast as unwanted.
The Western Coalition’s statement summarized the steps already announced by the member states, but reinstated them under the NATO banner appeared to be aimed at showing their resolve. It was one of a series of announcements that indicated the West was intensifying its rhetoric in the Ukraine standoff in the information war.
Russia has gathered an estimated 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine, demanding that NATO promise it will never allow Ukraine to join and other actions, such as withdrawing coalition troops in former Soviet bloc countries. Deploy, should be reduced. Russia denies that it is planning an offensive, and says Western accusations are only a cover for NATO’s own planned provocation.
NATO said on Monday it was increasing its “deterrent capability” in the Baltic Sea region. Denmark is sending a warship and deploying F-16 fighters to Lithuania; Spain is sending four fighter jets and three ships to the Black Sea to Bulgaria to join NATO naval forces; And France is ready to send troops to Romania. The Netherlands also plans to send two F-35 fighters to Bulgaria from April.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the coalition would “take all necessary measures to protect and defend all allies.” “We will always respond to any deterioration in our security environment, including by strengthening our collective defence,” he said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov alleged that it was NATO and the US that were behind the escalating tensions in Europe, not Russia. “All this is not happening because of what we are doing Russia. This is happening because of what NATO, America is doing, ”Peskov told reporters.
The NATO announcement came as EU foreign ministers sought a new show of unity in support of Ukraine, and paper over concerns about division on the best way to counter any Russian aggression.
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