NATO chief Stoltenberg says Russia ready to expand invasion of Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday Moscow creates “massive” military forces in and around Ukraine for months, and warned that President Vladimir Putin’s recognition Monday of Ukraine’s two separatist regions is likely only the first step in a larger military operation against Russianeighbor.

The NATO The ruler said that Russian forces had previously operated inside separatist enclaves, but never so openly. The Alliance and Western leaders have strongly condemned Putin’s decision.

“Many [Russian] the units are now deployed in combat formations, ”he said. Stoltenberg told reporters in NATO headquartered in Brussels. “They are out of the camps, in the field and ready to strike.”

He called it a crisis, “created Russia one ”and praised Ukraine for his “restraint” in unresponsiveness MoscowRecent provocations are repeated. NATO strongly rejected Mr Putin’s demand for this Ukraine be permanently banned from joining the Western military alliance.

“This is the most dangerous moment in European security for an entire generation. Stoltenberg said. “But Europe and North America continue to be stronger together NATO».

NATO the allies deployed thousands of troops to former Soviet satellites such as Poland and Romania, and put even more on hold. The Alliance has more than 100 fighters operating in the region and more than 120 NATO ships at sea, from the far north to the Mediterranean, he said.

“It simply came to our notice then Russia continues to plan a full-scale attack on Ukraine. We are witnessing a steady increase in the military, ”he said. Stoltenberg said. “They promised to retreat, but kept going.”

The NATO The leader welcomed the decision of members of the alliance – including the United States – to impose economic sanctions on them Moscow. In the end, Mr. Stoltenberg said he was not particularly surprised by Mr Putin’s plans to take over Ukraine.

“That’s why we’ve been warning about it for months,” he said. Stoltenberg said. «Russia did what we expected and what we warned about. “

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