Russia will pay heavy price if it attacks Ukraine, NATO warns

FOLLOWING the escalation of tensions over the deployment of Russian forces on Ukraine’s border, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has warned that Russia will pay a heavy price if it goes ahead to attack Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg issued the warning in a statement released ahead of meetings of NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels today and tomorrow.

The NATO secretary general cautioned Moscow against “any further provocation or aggressive actions” following warnings by United States officials that Russia could be preparing to launch a winter offensive in Ukraine.

Last week, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Russia had amassed nearly 100,000 soldiers near Ukraine’s border, as Washington warned that Moscow may be “attempting to rehash” its 2014 invasion.

Despite Russia’s declaration of a withdrawal, the statement said Russia had continued the military build-up in readiness to attack Ukraine.

“But so far, we have not seen any de-escalation on the ground. On the contrary, it appears that Russia continues the military build-up. 

“And we have not received any response to our written document, our written proposals, that we sent to Russia on the 26th of January,” the statement said.

NATO outlined the topics and items to be discussed with Russia to find a political solution to the impasse.

 “We will continue to convey a very clear message to Russia that we are ready to sit down and discuss with them.

“But at the same time, we are prepared for the worst. And if Russia once again invades Ukraine, they will pay a high price. “

NATO said it would continue to expose Russia’s plans and actions to make it harder to conduct aggressive actions against Ukraine. 

On Russia’s opposition to Ukraine’s membership of NATO, Stoltenberg said Russia could not dictate who to make a member for the regional body.

“So my message is that this is for 30 allies to decide. Russia is not deciding who’s going to be a member of NATO or not.

“And this is a matter of principle that all allies have stated clearly again and again. And this is about respecting the right of every nation in Europe to choose their path, whether they want to belong to an organization as NATO or whether they don’t want to belong to NATO.

“Finland and Sweden, close partners of NATO not applying for membership, but they have also stated very clearly that, of course, NATO cannot sign a legally binding agreement with Russia, where we say that there will be no further enlargement of NATO. “

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow does not want a war in Europe amid rising tensions over Ukraine but demanded that the issue of Kyiv’s relationship with NATO be resolved in its entirety immediately.




    Speaking at a joint news conference on Tuesday after talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Putin said Western powers had informed Russia that its neighbour would not join the transatlantic military alliance shortly. But he warned that was not a satisfactory assurance.

    Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops around Ukraine’s borders and is campaigning for security guarantees from the West, including a guarantee that Kyiv will be prevented from ever joining NATO’s ranks, despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pushing for it to do so.

    “We need to resolve this question now … [and] we hope very much our concern will be heard by our partners and taken seriously,” Putin told reporters in Moscow.

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949 and is a group of 30 countries from Europe and North America that exists to protect the people and territory of its members.

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