Sat. May 28th, 2022

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that despite claims to the contrary, Russia is still building up troop numbers along its border with Ukraine.


Speaking before a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, Stoltenberg said Moscow has shown no signs of a pullback — and, in fact, appears to to be adding to its forces.

Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday that some of the soldiers who’d been participating in drills in the area have begun to return to their bases.

“So far we have not seen any de-escalation on the ground,” Stoltenberg said, according to a UK daily.

“On the contrary, it appears that Russia continues the military buildup. We are, of course, monitoring very closely what Russia does in and around Ukraine.”

Despite the apparent contradiction, Stoltenberg said that NATO anticipates dialogue between Russia and Europe will continue to avoid an invasion.

“What we see is that they have increased the number of troops, and more troops are on their way, and so, so far, no de-escalation,” he added. “But of course, we hear all the messages about diplomacy, and we are ready to engage in diplomatic efforts with Russia.”

Stoltenberg also said he didn’t know how many troops Russia has on the Ukrainian border, but noted that he believes they have enough to conduct a “full-fledged” invasion – which U.S. President Joe Biden echoed in an address on Tuesday.

Moscow’s defense ministry released a video Tuesday that showed armored vehicles moving across a bridge away from Crimea, which Russia forcibly annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

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