NATO’s secretary general, ruled out this Sunday the possibility of the Atlantic Alliance sending combat troops to Ukraine if Russia launches an offensive against the country.
“Ukraine is not a NATO ally,” Jens Stoltenberg told the BBC television channel, emphasizing that the “100 percent security guarantee” of the entire Alliance does not apply to Ukraine.
“We are focusing on offering support to Ukraine, helping it exercise its right to self-defense. At the same time, we are sending the message to Russia that we will impose severe sanctions if they once again use force against Ukraine,” said Stoltenberg, who advocates a diplomatic solution to the tensions and urged the Kremlin to de-escalate the conflict.
The NATO secretary general said there is “no certainty about the intentions” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but warned against sending tens of thousands of troops to the Ukrainian border, considering this to be “very aggressive rhetoric” from Moscow, as well as the precedents of the use of force against Ukraine.
The United Kingdom announced a day ago its intention to propose to NATO the deployment of troops, warships, and fighter planes in Europe to respond to increased “Russian hostility” towards Ukraine, according to an announcement by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, quoted by Agence France-Presse.
“This set of measures would send a clear message to the Kremlin — we will not tolerate its destabilizing activity and will always stand with NATO allies in the face of Russian hostility,” said in a statement released Saturday.
Boris Johnson, in the same statement, reports that he has ordered the armed forces to prepare to send troops to Europe next week to be able to provide ground, air and naval support to NATO allies.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, in a statement on January 30, said that Russia does not want a war with Ukraine and stressed that Moscow is not threatening the neighboring country.
“We don’t want war, we don’t need it”Nikolai Patrushev
Kiev authorities and the West have accused Russia of massing some 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine with the intention of invading the neighboring country again after it annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. However, Russia has denied this intention and said it feels threatened by NATO’s 20-year expansion into Eastern Europe and Western support for Ukraine.
Ukraine has been engaged in a war with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbass industrial region since 2014, which it says is supported militarily by Moscow and has caused some 14,000 deaths, according to the UN.
Rule out: écarter, exclure
De-escalate: désamorcer, apaiser