NATO foreign ministers to consult on tensions on their eastern flank

6 months ago | 101


NATO foreign ministers are to meet in Riga on Tuesday with allies alarmed by a build-up of Russian troops near the eastern Ukrainian border and with a stand-off over migration at the Polish-Belarusian border.

The Trans-Atlantic Defence Alliance’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, has repeatedly voiced concern over an unusual concentration of Russian soldiers near NATO ally Ukraine in recent weeks.

Stoltenberg said Friday that Russian aggression on Ukraine would have “costs”.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European affairs, Karen Donfried, said “all options” were on the table as a response.

Western countries sanctioned Russia over the conflict.

Russia annexed the Ukrainian region Crimea in 2014 and also supports separatists in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk – known collectively as Donbas.

The Kremlin has fended off accusations in recent weeks, saying it can move troops on its own territory as it pleases.

Immediate action is not expected from Tuesday’s meeting, as allies wait and see.

Some fear a fresh incursion into Ukrainian territory is possible, but it is unclear that Moscow would risk the escalation.

Also of concern is the ongoing but abating crisis at NATO member Poland’s frontier with Belarus.

Thousands of refugees have been stranded there for weeks, allegedly propelled towards the border by Minsk – an ally of Moscow – in revenge for western sanctions.

Internal NATO matters – including an ongoing review of the alliance’s core strategic goals – are on the ministers’ agenda for the meeting, which is to finish on Wednesday. (dpa/NAN)

- Nov. 30, 2021 @ 12:33  GMT |


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