Ukraine called for swift action to prevent a possible Russian invasion and NATO accused Putin of raising military tension

Ukraine warned Russia that it will respond if it “crosses the red line” (UKRAINE PRESIDENCY /)

Ukraine on Monday called on its allies to act quickly to dissuade Russia from invading it., stating that a Russian offensive could begin “in the blink of an eye.”

“It is better to act now, not later” to “stop Russia“, stated the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmitri Kuleba, in an online briefing.

According to Kuleba, Russia has accumulated some 115,000 troops around UkraineAs well as in Crimea – the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014 – and in the territories controlled by separatists in the east of the country.

“What we are seeing is very serious. Russia has deployed a large military force near the Ukrainian border. This includes tanks, artillery systems, electronic warfare systems, air and naval forces ”, he detailed.

In the last weeks, The United States, NATO and the European Union (EU) have expressed concern about Russian troop movements around Ukraine, fearing a possible invasion. Russia, however, has denied any such plan and has accused Ukraine and its Western allies of increasing “provocations”.

The Secretary General of NATO, Jens stoltenberg, demanded this Sunday from Moscow transparency and appeal to a de-escalation in the face of the “very worrying” growing Russian military presence on the border with Ukraine and warned of the consequences in the event of the use of force.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, demanded that Russia de-escalate tensions on the border with Ukraine (REUTERS / Ints Kalnins)
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, demanded that Russia de-escalate tensions on the border with Ukraine (REUTERS / Ints Kalnins) (INTS KALNINS /)

This Monday, highlighted this Monday the “Clear message” of deterrence sent by the battalions that the Alliance has deployed in the Baltic countries and in Poland in the face of the military reinforcement carried out by Russia along the Ukrainian border.

“These forces send a clear message. An attack against one ally is an attack against all allies ”, Stoltenberg emphasized in a press conference with the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, before a two-day meeting of allied foreign ministers begins tomorrow in Riga.

On what may be the consequences of a new Russian attack against Ukraine, Stoltenberg assured in a conversation during his visit to the battalion that there is “A wide range of options.”

He assured in any case that decisions will be made only when NATO knows “exactly what can happen”, and recalled that after the Russian annexation of Crimea the allies already imposed “severe and strong economic and financial sanctions, as well as diplomatic and political reactions against Russia ”.

Stoltenberg today visited the multinational battalion in the Latvian town of Adazi, one of the four that the Alliance deployed (in addition to those of Lithuania, Estonia and Poland) after Moscow’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and the port city of Sevastopol in 2014, in what formed the largest allied reinforcement since the end of the Cold War.

“We remain vigilant” and “ready to help the allies,” said the Norwegian politician, who acknowledged “concern” for the second large “unusual” Russian concentration of military forces alongside Ukraine so far this year, with tens of thousands of “combat ready” troops.

Eastern Ukraine is mired in a war between the Kiev government and pro-Russian separatists since 2014, which erupted shortly after Moscow annexed Crimea. Since then the conflict has caused more than 13,000 deaths.

Despite its denials, Russia is accused of supporting pro-Russian separatists and supplying them with men and weapons.

In this context, the dictator of Belarus, Alexandr Lukashenko, warned on Monday that his country will take sides in favor of Russia in case the western powers unleash a war on the Russian borders.

More and more troops are mobilized by Russia on the border with Ukraine
More and more troops are mobilized by Russia on the border with Ukraine

“They understand perfectly that if they again launch a little war in the Donbas (eastern Ukraine) or elsewhere on the border with Russia, Belarus will not remain on the sidelines “, Lukashenko said during a meeting on the country’s military security, as reported by the BELTA agency.

Lukashenko, who chaired the meeting in military uniform, stressed that this is the reason why NATO has begun to reinforce its northern border.

“It is clear which side Belarus will be on”stressed the dictator, who estimated at about 8,000 the troops of the western military contingent deployed on the border with Poland and the Baltic countries.

He revealed that he has commissioned the Minister of Defense and the State Border Service to draw up a response plan in the event of aggression: “I am not dramatizing the situation, but there must be an appropriate response. That is our mission. We are willing to dialogue. But if someone comes with a sword or a rifle, we have something to respond with ”.

In this regard, he highlighted the existence of several special rapid reaction units that can be deployed in “Anywhere in Belarus within three hours.”

The dictator Lukashenko affirmed that Belarus would fight alongside the Russian side in an eventual war against the West
The dictator Lukashenko affirmed that Belarus would fight alongside the Russian side in a possible war against the West (PRESIDENCY OF BELARUS /)

He also accused the West of inventing alleged Russian aggression plans against Ukraine and challenged it to put “on the table” evidence confirming that thesis.

Last week Ukrainian and American media warned of a possible Russian attack during the winter based on the concentration of more than 90,000 Russian military personnel on the border.

The eventual invasion would come from different flanks, including eastern breakaway Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Recently, Russia and Belarus agreed to extend the Russian military presence in the territory of the former Soviet republic by 25 years, to which must be added the joint anti-aircraft defense system.

Lukashenko assured in early September that Minsk it would shortly receive several dozen Russian fighters (Su-30CM), helicopters, anti-aircraft batteries and possibly S-400 systems.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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