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Russia builds up military force at Ukraine borders, NATO on alert

A deployment of NATO forces. [Photo: Twitter/NATO. int]

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or Atlantic Alliance has put its forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets in response to Russia’s military build-up at Ukraine borders, international media reported.

NATO is an international political and military organization with the aim of guaranteeing the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.

As per reports, the move added to a flurry of signals that the West is bracing for an aggressive Russian move against Ukraine, though Moscow denies any plan to invade.

“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.”

Britain said it was withdrawing some staff and dependants from its embassy in Ukraine in response to “a growing threat from Russia”, a day after the United States said it was ordering diplomats’ family members to leave, global news agency Reuters reported.

“Military action by Russia could come at any time,” the US Embassy said in a statement. 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,” it added.

US diplomats at the embassy in Kyiv were being allowed to leave voluntarily. The tensions over Ukraine have contributed to a rise in oil, with the latest Russia-U.S. talks on Friday failing to produce any big breakthrough.

The report said that Russia is demanding that NATO withdraw a promise to let Ukraine join one day, and that the alliance pull back troops and weaponry from former Communist countries in eastern Europe that joined it after the Cold War

Washington says those demands are non-starters but it is ready to discuss other ideas on arms control, missile deployments and confidence-building measures.

The United States and the European Union have warned Russia not to invade Ukraine. Denmark said the EU was ready to impose “never-seen-before” economic sanctions and EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said they would send a unified warning to Moscow.

As per the report, an estimated 100,000 Russian troops remain poised within reach of the Ukrainian border. Russia is awaiting a written response to its demands this week.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it considered the U.S. embassy move as “premature and a manifestation of excessive caution.”

“In fact, there have been no cardinal changes in the security situation recently: the threat of new waves of Russian aggression has remained constant since 2014 and the buildup of Russian troops near the state border began in April last year,” it said.

 

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