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NATO does not see a military de-escalation of Russia, but appreciates diplomatic advances

Ukrainian police and National Guard servicemen take part in military exercises. / EFE

Stoltenberg assures that Moscow has reinforced the artillery and equipment in the area and would be able to carry out a rapid military operation.

Russia is far from military de-escalation on the border with Ukraine. The withdrawal of troops announced on Tuesday by Moscow, “has not been seen as such” by NATO, which defends, instead, that Russian military forces continue to concentrate around Kiev. According to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in recent weeks Moscow has mobilized artillery, missiles and equipment, “which would allow it to carry out a rapid military operation.” All in all, the Atlantic Alliance is “optimistic, but cautious”, with the signals they receive from the Kremlin, which seem to bet on diplomatic channels.

NATO has also reinforced its presence in the area “to support Ukraine”. The allies have reinforced their presence in the Black Sea and the Balkans by sending troops and planes. “Our presence in the area has been increasing since 2014,” Stoltenberg stressed, referring to the Russian invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. “This proves the importance of investing in our defense,” he said. In fact, in these seven years, NATO spending has increased by $270 billion.

Committed to Kyiv

The summit of the Atlantic Alliance, which will bring together the defense ministers of the allied countries in Brussels this week, will have as its main axis the Russian threat to invade Ukraine. “We are all committed to the sovereignty of Kiev. China and Russia are working together, they are two authoritarian governments that want to decide the future of the countries around them through spheres of influence. We cannot allow that », he assured.

The path of dialogue remains open and there are signs of optimism on the part of Moscow, “but we are not willing to give up our values,” Stoltenberg pointed out. Instead, there are secondary issues such as European security, military transparency and arms control, on which the two sides could come to terms. In fact, Russia is working this week on the response to the letter that the US and NATO sent in January about their demands for military de-escalation. Moscow called for the withdrawal of troops from NATO and a veto on Ukraine’s entry into the alliance, two demands that the allies have already rejected.

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