Blinken, NATO Chief Discuss Russia's 'Military Activity' near Ukraine
Washington has been continuously expressing "real concerns" over what it called Russia’s military moves on Ukraine, reiterating its stance to NATO Secretary-General.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, spoke by phone about Russia's "unusual military activity" near Ukraine's border, according to a State Department statement.
"Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the agenda for the November 30 – December 1 NATO Foreign Ministerial and the reports of unusual Russian military activity near Ukraine," Spokesperson Ned Price said.
"Secretary Blinken noted that he looks forward to the Foreign Ministerial in Riga and dialogue on the full range of issues facing NATO," he added.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has recently reiterated his country’s "real concerns" about Russia's actions and statements on Ukraine.
"We have real concerns about Russia's unusual military activity on the border with Ukraine. We have real concerns about some of the rhetoric we have been seeing and hearing from Russia as well as in social media," Blinken said.
He added that US allies ‘widely share’ these concerns but declined to say whether US intelligence believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was aiming to 'seize land' from Ukraine.
On his account, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin has lately restated America's 'unwavering support' for Ukraine’s ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity' and asserted that the US had made its concerns vocal about what he called Russia's "destabilizing activities".
Earlier, the Russian President accused the West of "escalating" the conflict with Kiev by conducting maneuvers in the Black Sea and sending bombers to fly near the Russian border, stressing that Kiev continues to pursue its harmful policy aimed at undermining the Minsk agreement.
NATO’s activities near borders urge Moscow to bolster its combat capabilities
Russia held military drills in the Black Sea, south of Ukraine, on Wednesday, saying that increased NATO activity near its borders required it to sharpen the combat readiness of its conventional and nuclear forces.
Furthermore, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said the need for Russia to further develop its armed forces was dictated by “the complicated military and political conditions in the world and the growing activity of NATO countries near Russia’s borders”, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Shoygu added that raising the armed forces’ capabilities, supporting the combat readiness of nuclear forces, and strengthening the potential of non-nuclear deterrence were among the priorities.