(Corrects reference in penultimate paragraph to navy qeuipment, from navy personnel)
BRUSSELS (WBHnews) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken provided the USA full help to Ukraine in its battle with Russia on Tuesday as NATO known as on Moscow to halt a big troop build-up on Ukraine’s borders.
Blinken, returning to Brussels simply weeks after his maiden journey to Europe as U.S. President Joe Biden’s prime diplomat, informed reporters that “the U.S. stands firmly behind the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine”. He mentioned he would talk about Kyiv’s ambitions to someday be part of NATO.
Blinken met with Ukrainian Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba in an intensification of diplomacy after the Group of Seven overseas ministers condemned the rise in Russian troop numbers, which the West says has gone unexplained.
Echoing NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg, who met Kuleba earlier, Blinken mentioned Moscow was massing forces in its largest build-up since 2014, when battle flared between Ukraine and Russia, and Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
Blinken warned of Russia’s “very provocative actions”, whereas Stoltenberg mentioned Russian troopers had been combat-ready.
“In current weeks Russia has moved hundreds of combat-ready troops to Ukraine’s borders, the most important massing of Russian troops for the reason that unlawful annexation of Crimea in 2014,” Stoltenberg mentioned.
“Russia should finish this navy build-up in and round Ukraine, cease its provocations and de-escalate instantly,” Stoltenberg mentioned at his information convention with Kuleba.
Russia has mentioned it strikes its forces round because it sees match, together with for defensive functions, and has repeatedly accused NATO of destabilising Europe with its troop reinforcements within the Baltics and Poland for the reason that annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.
Russian information companies quoted Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying that Russia was taking measures to answer what it calls threatening navy motion by NATO, together with fight readiness checks and troop workouts.
Shoigu was cited as saying that NATO was planning to deploy 40,000 troops and 15,000 items of navy gear near Russian territory. The Western alliance denies any such plans.
Russia on Tuesday additionally known as the USA an “adversary” and informed U.S. warships to keep away from Crimea, which is strategically-located on the Black Sea and is more and more patrolled by NATO allies.
(This story corrects reference in penultimate paragraph to navy qeuipment, from navy personnel)
Reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels, Sabine Siebold in Berlin, Polina Devitt in Moscow, modifying by Mark Heinrich