”In recent weeks, we have seen large and unusual concentrations of Russian forces close to Ukraine’s borders,” said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

He underlined that NATO remains vigilant and called on Russia to be transparent about its military activities.

“NATO stands with Ukraine. We do not, and will not, accept Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. And we call on Russia to end its support for militants in the Donbas.

All NATO Allies are united in their condemnation of Russia’s behaviour. NATO and Allies continue to provide significant political and practical support to Ukraine. We are helping to strengthen your capabilities, including with training for your armed forces. And we support your wide-ranging reform agenda, which will help advance Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

NATO’s support to Ukraine is not a threat to Russia. NATO and Allied exercises in the Black Sea region are defensive and transparent. Minister Kuleba, we will remain in close touch on this situation. And I look forward to welcoming you to Riga to participate in the NATO foreign ministerial meeting there next month.”

Stoltenberg also said:

“So what we see in around Ukraine now is a large Russian military build-up. We see an unusual concentration of forces. And we also know that Russia has demonstrated both the will and the capability to use military force against Ukraine before.

We saw that when they illegally annexed Crimea, and we have seen it over many years in the way they operate support the separatists in Donbas. So therefore, of course, I think none of us should speculate too much. But the fact is that we see an unusual concentration of forces of military Russian capabilities, and that we have seen that Russia has demonstrated the will to use these forces against the neighbours Ukraine, Georgia, and also the course they have demonstrated against Moldova over many years.

Therefore, we call on Russia to be transparent on their military activities, to reduce tensions, and to prevent any escalation. This is a clear message from all NATO Allies, and also discussed the situation with the Foreign Minister Kuleba during our meeting today.”

You can read the press conference in full here.

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dave12
dave12
6 days ago

I cant see the logic even for Putin to invade Ukraine some more it will cost Russia a lot especially with large majority of Ukrainians hateing Putin it would be a huge mistake and I cant see it happening apart from maybe a move to secure the water supply to Crimea that the Ukraine has stopped .

Mark B
Mark B
6 days ago
Reply to  dave12

I suspect Putin wants to see Russia controlling Eastern Europe as per the Soviet days. This I think is about recovering land he feels has been stolen from the Russian people. Does logic really come into it?

dave12
dave12
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Very true.

Mark B
Mark B
6 days ago

Interesting. Russia continues to stir things up. Eventually Putin will push his luck too far and we will end in a conflict he cannot control.

maurice10
maurice10
6 days ago

I can’t help feeling these declarations are as vacuous as the COP26 statement of intent. Apart from the US and UK who else will be there, shoulder to shoulder if conflict erupts?

TabYomper
TabYomper
6 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Other countries would be there as in Iraq and Afghanistan but in non combat roles like peeling potatoes and sorting the mail.European countries would send troops to hot spots with the proviso they arent put in combat roles.As in Poland now we sent engineers without the EU or Nato getting involved.

RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Will the UK and US be there? If Russia make a move it will happen quickly. All these build up of troops near the border for “war games” mean we will have no idea when or if they are genuinely building up for war. I can’t imagine we could move quick enough to stop them annexing the parts of eastern Ukraine they are after. Also, what would we bring to the party anyway? Lets face it, it would be the US along with a token coalition. Even then they are unlikely to try and take back the parts of Ukraine… Read more »

dave12
dave12
6 days ago
Reply to  RobW

600 troop task force of paras and sas attached is on standby a small but potent force the Ukraine will be doing the heavy hitting if it kicks off.

RobW
RobW
5 days ago
Reply to  dave12

As well trained as they are, that is a token force when compared to the size of the Russian army. Still, as I said, I can’t see us actually fighting. It is far more likely we will be there after the fact, once Donetsk is already in the hands of little green men.

Tim
Tim
6 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

I think many in Eastern Europe Poland Romania Latvia etc have a lot to lose if Russia decides to invade and would contribute far more than we would

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, if Poland is attacked, then the whole of NATO will show up.
If Ukraine is attacked by clearly identified Russian forces (rather than the ‘little green men’), then only diplomatic activity will result, unless some western military personnel in Ukraine are wounded or killed – then there may be some wort of retaliation, but I doubt it will be WW3.

JohninMK
JohninMK
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Not quite ‘will’, under Article 5 more like probably or even possibly.

Steve
Steve
5 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Agreed, more like some might turn up. Realistically NATO was formed by countries that wanted the US to protect them and had no desire or interest in going to war over another country. If the US doesn’t show up, I suspect no other NATO member will, including us, as the risk of going to war with Russia is just too big. It is however a decent deterrence, as Russia can’t be sure that the whole alliance won’t show up, they can be pretty darn certain but not 100%. Just like I am pretty darn sure our continuous at see deterrence… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Steve
maurice10
maurice10
5 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If Russia formally attacks, then I guess there could be a few countries putting up a fight outside of the immediate affected regions. I believe the US and UK would respond, but other NATO states who are members of the EU would want Brussels to make the final decision, and we know how long that would take! This hesitancy is exactly what Russia would require to make fast ground whilst the resistance is cogitating. The US response would be swift and Intel alert their forces if an attack was imminent, unlike the Afghan retreat. The current Conservative UK Government would… Read more »

Steve
Steve
5 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

I just can’t see it. If Russia attacked one of the eastern border countries, my guess the US would reinforce it’s presence in the next country along but not push back against Russia, instead we will end up in years of debate in the UN about why Russia should withdraw. Saying that there wasn’t a big deployment to the border, when Ukraine was attacked, so maybe just UN action and nothing else. The UK would dither and wait for the US to do anything. Maybe the EU might be able to draw enough assets without the US but a big… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
5 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The only difference from other Russian adventures is the installation of NATO forces in the area, with the US and UK in significant numbers. Just as Hitler’s Germany had to be faced by a line in the sand over Poland, I feel the time is quickly approaching where a stand has to be made? Allowing occupation of sovereign states by only seeking diplomatic solutions as a response, could become an uncontrollable malignancy.

Steve
Steve
5 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

How many troops do we actually have deployed in eastern Europe? I couldn’t find the figure but I suspect it’s not significant, when compared to the size of any potential attacking force. Poland was the final straw, but it took several actions to get there and we forget that at the time Poland was a major economic power / trading partner, they are now a shadow of themselves for obvious reasons. It’s hard to guess how policticans would act if a smaller eastern European country fell. My guess is they would start with appeals at the UN and issuing sanctions,… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Wikipedia says we have 800 personnel in the British-framework EFP BG imn Estonia.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_Enhanced_Forward_Presence#United_Kingdom

Clearly this is a trip-wire/deterrent presence and they are not expected to be able to fight tens of thousands of Russian troops.

There are also EFP BGs in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, with nations other than the UK contributing.
A lot depends which ‘smaller eastern European country’ fell – if it was a NATO country (such as those mentioned above) then Article 5 will be called and we all go to war.

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Article 5 is a piece of paper, it doesn’t force anything, the only way to force a treaty is for their to be negative consequences to you if you don’t follow, such as sanctions etc.

Everyone would be looking at what the US did. If the US did not declare war and send lots of troops, my guess most of NATO would come up with excuses and I highly doubt we would be looking to go it alone with a handful of smaller nations.

Andrew D
Andrew D
6 days ago

IF Putin gives the green light he may fine himself in a European Afghanistan and stuck as I sure the Ukrainians will fight ,has the West will send Armes to keep Russians at bay .However that’s if NATO forces keep away or it’s game over for us all.🌍

Rob
Rob
6 days ago

A few things not mentioned here. To start with the Russian concentration is reported to be near Yelnya which is 150 miles north of Ukraine but is on the Smolensk – Minsk road axis. Surely it is more likely to be positioned there as a possible intervention force for Belarus? This would make sense since Putin can’t let Belarus enter the EU / NATO sphere of influence and pressure on the border between Poland and Belarus is growing. Secondly, this isn’t the time of year to start an offensive campaign in this part of Europe, the autumn raspitutsa (time of… Read more »

Matt C
Matt C
5 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I think Jens Stoltenberg might know more of what he’s talking about, the information streams available to the various NATO intelligence and surveillance apparatus may not quite be on a level with OSINT Bunker, after all.

Daveyb
Daveyb
5 days ago
Reply to  Rob

This would be the perfect environment to task a Sentinel to keep an eye on ground movements. Oh wait, we retired them all – doh!

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
4 days ago

I bet the our political and military top brass have twitchy hoop syndrome at the moment because if Mr Putin decides to call our bluff after years of constantly running down the armed forces it will be exactly that “a bluff” as we no longer have the force or the will to go against Russia with or without our esteemed NATO allies. Mr Putin’s 5th element have been working overtime through-out Europe and now have a good foot hold in all our academic institutions as well as running most of the press. He can send assassins to use chemical weapons… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 days ago

We would never go to war with Russia without NATO allies – we would not last more than a few days. If Article 5 is triggered by Russia attacking an eastern European NATO country and we go to war against Russia, as a NATO collective, then I am rather glad that we no longer have the cream of our army sitting quite far forward in Germany as per the old days. We would lose our 800 troops in EFP (Lithuania) quite quickly – and would ship armour across the Channel as quickly as possible and it could well be used… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

What Armour!! we have not got any, or what little we do have might last a day or so, we would have to wait for the American’s to get over to Europe, as I said above we would get to the seen of the crime to late so would be a holding action till the next time they decide to move. By killing people with chemical weapons and blowing up munition dumps are they not acts of war!! We as a nation have lost our bottle whether it is the Russian 5th element controlling the press and manipulating the political… Read more »

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I assume there is a plan to get them 800 out of Dodge fast. With policitcs kicking in, it would be weeks before NATO mobilises and by that time the spear head would long overrun. It would however force the British public to want to get involved, as losing 800 soldiers would be a major PR blow that the government couldnt ignore. But at that point we are 800 soldiers down in an already undermanned stretched army. Hence I suspect there is an escape plan, rather than stand and fight

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
1 day ago

Just been reading the Ukrainian minister of defences assessment of the Russian build up and they are expecting Mr Putin to come a-knocking on their door in the 1st quarter of the new year. The minister is in the USA at the moment trying to get more men and material commitment from Mr Biden. I think there is an element of keeping the kettle boiling but with 94,000 troops camped out on your border along with the latest kit the hoop dose tend to twitch.

Ewiak Ryszard
Ewiak Ryszard
1 minute ago

For now we can sleep in peace, but it won’t always be like this. This time it will be a world war not only by name. In the Book of Revelation we read: “Another came out, a fiery-colored horse, and it was granted to the one seated on it to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another, and he was given a powerful sword.” (6:4) What does this ‘great power sword’ mean? Jesus characterized him in this way: “A frightening things both and extraordinary (related to unusual phenomena) from sky powerful will be.” (Luke… Read more »