Russia continues to gradually build up its forces near the borders of Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference. He stated this after an extraordinary meeting in Brussels of the foreign ministers of the alliance member states, Interfax reports.
"The build-up of forces has not stopped, it continues. There is a gradual strengthening, with a large number of forces with large opportunities," he said.
"Today the ministers stressed that any further aggression against Ukraine will have significant consequences and a high cost for Russia. Allies continue to support Ukraine, we fully support its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we provide political and practical support," Stoltenberg said.
At the same time, Stoltenberg criticized the point of view that Ukraine could be a threat to Russia. "To say that Ukraine is a threat to Russia is the same as turning the problem inside out," he said.
"Ukraine is a sovereign, independent nation, and, of course, Ukraine has the right to defend itself. This right is enshrined in the UN Charter. When Ukraine is threatened, everyone understands that Ukraine will step up its efforts to be able to defend itself. And NATO allies provide support for Ukraine to allow Ukraine to enjoy the right to defend itself. Therefore, one of the messages at the meeting today was the need to provide support to Ukraine in various ways, "NATO Secretary General said and added that Russia occupied part of Ukrainian territory and continues to destabilize Donbass.
During a meeting today, the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of NATO member states agreed that the Alliance will remain firm on its expansion and Ukraine's right to join NATO. According to Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO meeting showed a consensus that Russia's demands cannot be met.