Russia's EU ambassador rejects allegations that a military attack on Ukraine is being prepared. The NATO Secretary General calls for the troops to be withdrawn.
In view of the tense situation between the West and Russia , Moscow has given assurances that it will not attack Ukraine militarily.
I can assure you that no Russian troops are busy preparing for an invasion of Ukraine
Russia's EU ambassador, Vladimir Chizhov, told the world. He does not understand why Europe is so concerned about Russian troop movements that are taking place on Russia's own territory.
Not a single Russian soldier has moved across the Russian border
Russia is pursuing a policy that supports Russian-speaking population groups who live in other countries. "But Russia has never said that we intend to use military means to do so," Chizhov said, according to Welt.
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Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) confirmed on Wednesday that she was "very worried" about the Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine. She called on Moscow to return to the negotiating table. Meanwhile, NATO put its crisis troops in increased readiness, according to Welt.
Putin's appearance is eagerly awaited
The tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine conflict had recently increased. Given the massive deployment of Russian troops, there are fears that Moscow might attack Ukraine. The Kremlin rejects this and accuses Ukraine and NATO of provocations.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has also accused the West of adopting a "clearly aggressive stance" and threatened a "military-technical" reaction.
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Last week, Moscow demanded, in order to ease tension, that NATO formally exclude further eastward expansion and that the USA renounce the establishment of US military bases in states of the former Soviet sphere of influence. NATO and the USA rejected this.
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In view of the boiling rhetoric, Putin's appearance at a traditional press conference at the end of the year in Moscow on Thursday is eagerly awaited. Direct talks between Russia and the USA and NATO are also planned for January.
Stoltenberg appeals to Russia
The NATO has the Russian President Vladimir Putin called to use the upcoming holidays for a withdrawal of its forces from the Ukrainian border.
Russia has the opportunity to ensure a peaceful and relaxing Christmas for everyone, said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with the German Press Agency. To do this, the country must reduce tensions and withdraw its troops.
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The Norwegian left it open as to whether he suspected that the troop movements were primarily an attempt by Russia to extort concessions from NATO on security issues. "There is uncertainty about Russia's intentions," he said.
Stoltenberg pointed out that Russia had already used violence against Ukraine in the course of the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
In view of the Russian demands for additional security guarantees from NATO, he was ready to talk - but rejected ideas that NATO could, for example, not accept Ukraine.
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