As of: 01/24/2022 4:16 p.m
NATO and the US want to increase their military presence in Eastern Europe. Russia is now accusing them of aggravating the situation: This increases the risk of a Ukrainian attack on the pro-Russian separatist areas.
Russia has accused the US and NATO of a dangerous escalation course in the Ukraine conflict. The origin of the tensions is not Russia, but the US and NATO’s “information campaign” and “hysteria,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in view of the West’s arms deliveries to Ukraine and the withdrawal of Western embassy staff in Kiev.
The campaign is accompanied by a large number of “simple lies”. The announcement by the military alliance to move troops to the eastern flank “causes tension to grow,” Peskov said, according to the Interfax agency. Russian foreign policy officials have announced that Moscow will react if the United States moves additional troops to Eastern Europe in the conflict.
Moscow fears an attack on pro-Russian separatists
In this regard, the Kremlin warned of the growing threat of a Ukrainian attack on the pro-Russian separatist-controlled parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. “The danger is there, and it’s very big now. It’s higher than it used to be,” said Peskow. Ukraine is in the process of concentrating its troops and equipment in very large numbers along the line to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
“The nature of this concentration indicates that an attack is being prepared. And in fact, this danger is now very great,” said the Kremlin spokesman. The “hotheads” in Ukraine are currently being encouraged by arms deliveries in their goal of taking back the breakaway areas. Russia has therefore been worried for a long time. According to Peskov, Moscow would welcome it if NATO stopped heating up the atmosphere and advised Kiev against a violent solution to the conflict.
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow again called for compliance with the Minsk peace plan, which was also brokered by Germany and France. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said that NATO could also help “calm the situation around Ukraine” by urging full implementation of the Minsk agreement.
“We have to reckon with everything, but we must also try to keep the negotiating door open,” Wilfried Jilge, Center for International Peace Operations, on the danger of military escalation
tagesschau24 11:00 a.m., 24.1.2022
NATO wants to increase its presence in Eastern Europe
A number of NATO member states had previously announced that they would increase their military presence in Eastern Europe. The alliance said it was increasing its “deterrent” presence in the Baltic Sea region. According to this, additional combat aircraft and naval ships are to be sent to the Baltic Sea and to eastern and northern European countries such as Lithuania and Bulgaria.
Accordingly, alliance states such as Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands want to increase their military presence in Eastern Europe, and the USA and France are therefore considering this. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the member states’ announcement.
According to a report, US President Joe Biden is also considering sending thousands of US soldiers to the Eastern European NATO countries. One of several variants discussed provides for up to 5,000 soldiers, reports the “New York Times”, citing government circles. A transfer of troops to Ukraine itself has not yet been considered. The US Department of Defense declined to comment on the report.
Russia begins military maneuvers in the Irish Sea
Meanwhile, Moscow has started the announced naval maneuvers in the Irish Sea, as reported by the RIA news agency. 20 warships from the Russian Baltic Sea fleet set sail for this purpose. The planned maneuvers are to be held 240 kilometers off the southwest coast of Ireland. This would be in international waters, but within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone, where the EU member state enjoys exclusive exploitation rights.