NATO chief says allies must prepare for the worst in Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the US-led military organisation must prepare for the worst as concern mounts that Russia could be preparing to invade Ukraine.NATO is worried about a Russian buildup of heavy equipment and troops near Ukraines northern border, not far from Belarus.


PTI | Riga | Updated: 01-12-2021 03:20 IST | Created: 01-12-2021 03:20 IST
NATO chief says allies must prepare for the worst in Ukraine
  • Country:
  • India

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the US-led military organisation must prepare for the worst as concern mounts that Russia could be preparing to invade Ukraine.

NATO is worried about a Russian buildup of heavy equipment and troops near Ukraine's northern border, not far from Belarus. Ukraine says Moscow kept about 90,000 troops in the area following massive war games in western Russia earlier this year, and could easily mobilize them.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last week that his country's intelligence service had uncovered plans for a Russia-backed coup d'état. Russia denied the allegation and rejected the assertion that it is planning to invade Ukraine.

“You can discuss whether the likelihood for an incursion is 20% or 80%, it doesn't matter. We need to be prepared for the worst,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Riga, Latvia, after chairing talks among NATO foreign ministers focused on the threat posed by Russia.

“There is no certainty, no clarity about exactly what are the Russian intentions, and they may actually evolve and change,” the NATO chief continued. Referring to Russia's seizure in 2014 of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, Stoltenberg added: “They've done it before.'' Asked about the decision to activate NATO's crisis response planning system, which helps analyze potential crises and prepare a response to them, he said: “Allies agree that we need to have the plans in place to be sure that we are always able to protect all allies against any potential threat.” The United States has shared intelligence with European allies warning of a possible invasion. European diplomats acknowledge the Russian troop movements, but some countries have played down the threat of any imminent invasion ordered by Moscow.

“We are very concerned about the movements we've seen along Ukraine's border. We know that Russia often combines those efforts with internal efforts to destabilize a country. That's part of the playbook, and we're looking at it very closely,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

“Any renewed aggression would trigger serious consequences,” Blinken warned.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback