While Russia did not invade Ukraine last night their actions have been a major cause for concern over the last few months. Russia has perched 150,000 troops along the border of Ukraine, deployed troops into allied Belarus, and even though Russia claims that it has no intention of invading Ukraine, Western intelligence remains wary of a possible attack in the near future. On Tuesday, Biden said the 30-member alliance has made several proposals to address Russia’s security concerns. Russia has continued to demand things of NATO such as not allowing Ukraine to join and for Russia to take charge of certain security concerns. Russia has claimed to pull the troops back from the border, but Nato officials worry this is not the case.
China Lies for Russia about Troop Withdrawal
China has accused the United States of “playing up” the crisis on Ukraine’s border after Moscow has “pulled back” troops on the Ukraine border. “Such persistent hyping up and disinformation by some Western countries will create turbulence and uncertainty to the world full of challenges and intensify distress and division,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters today. “We hope relevant parties will stop such disinformation campaigns and do more to benefit peace, mutual trust and cooperation,” he added. Wang also highlighted China and Russia’s “long term good neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperative relationship.”
NATO Confirms Russia Lies About Troop Withdrawal
Today, the Russian Defense Ministry released a video showing a trainload of armored vehicles moving across a bridge away from Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Yesterday, Moscow reported the start of a pullback of troops following military exercises near Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has contradicted Moscow’s claims of pulling troops back from the Ukraine border. Stoltenberg warned today that Russia is still capable of launching a “full-fledged invasion of Ukraine with no warning time.”
“We have not seen any withdrawal of Russian forces. That contradicts the message of real diplomatic efforts,” Stoltenberg told reporters. “They have increased the number of troops and more troops are on their way. So far, there is no de-escalation. We are closely monitoring and following what they’re doing,” Stoltenberg said. “They have always moved forces back and forth. So just that we see movement of forces…doesn’t confirm a real withdrawal.”
Russia’s demands from NATO include restrictions on Ukraines NATO membership and missile placements in the region. NATO does not plan to change their stance when it comes to barring Ukraine from becoming an alliance member. “Russia is not deciding who is going to be a member of NATO or not,” Stoltenburg told reporters. Both the U.S. and NATO continue to urge Russia to engage in diplomatic talks.
Written by: Erinn Malloy