NATO chief warns Russia of 'costs' over moves against Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that Russia will face “consequences” for any attempt to invade Ukraine amid escalating tensions between Moscow and its former Soviet neighbor.
“It is clear that if Russia uses force against Ukraine, that will have costs, that will have consequences," Stoltenberg told a media conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Friday.
Earlier this month, Ukraine claimed that there were nearly 100,000 Russian soldiers near its border.
Stoltenberg said a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Latvia's capital Riga next week would address the alleged massing of Russian military units on the border, which provides “very strong reasons to be deeply concerned.”
"This is the second time this year that Russia has amassed a large and unusual concentration of forces in the region," the NATO chief claimed, listing "heavy capabilities like tanks, artillery armored units, drones, and electronic warfare systems as well as combat-ready troops.”
Stoltenberg called the alleged Russian military buildup "unprovoked and unexplained," and warned that "it raises tensions and it risks miscalculations.”
Russia says it has no plans to invade Ukraine, but has warned against any provocations from the neighboring country that could trigger such an invasion.
Moscow also says Washington is involved in aggressive moves in the Black Sea, where Ukraine and the United States have held military drills recently.
The US and its allies have stepped their military buildup in the region under the pretext that Russia was planning an invasion of Ukraine.