Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of the North Atlantic North Treaty (NATO) warned Russia against the use of force against Ukraine, noting that it would “cost a heavy price” if the Russian side does this.
Stoltenberg said, during a press conference held today, Friday in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, that the foreign ministers of NATO countries will discuss during the meeting on November 30 in Riga, Latvia, “Russia’s increase in its forces in Ukraine and its surroundings.”
“This is the second time in a year when NATO” sees “an unusual build-up of Russian forces in the region”, including tanks, artillery, drones, and combat-ready forces, he added.
Stoltenberg considered that what he described as Russia’s intensification of military activity near the border with Ukraine “is not justified by anything and fuels tension,” calling on the Russian side to “show transparency.”
The NATO Secretary-General warned: “If Russia uses its forces against Ukraine, it will cost a price.”
On November 13, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced that Russia had massed about 100,000 fighters on Ukraine’s borders.
The US Department of Defense also said it was following “alarming” Russian military movements near the Ukrainian border.
There is great political tension prevailing in Ukrainian-Russian relations since the 2014 events in Kiev, which resulted in a coup in Ukraine in a process that relied heavily on Western-backed nationalist forces.
Since then, the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine has been witnessing a military and political crisis.
These events have also resulted in great tension in the Crimean peninsula, which is inhabited by the Russian majority.
In March 2014, a popular referendum was held that voted in favor of the region’s return to Russia’s bosom.
Russia has repeatedly stressed that it has never planned any military intervention in Ukrainian territory, stressing its right to mobilize any military forces anywhere within its territory.