Russia and Ukraine conduct military exercises, NATO criticizes Russian military buildup

Moscow / Brussels — Russia and Ukraine held a simultaneous military exercise on Wednesday, with NATO Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers initiating emergency talks on the rallying of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border.

Washington and NATO have warned that Russian troops are gathering in large numbers near Ukraine and on the Crimean Peninsula, a peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and two U.S. warships are on the Black Sea this week. Will arrive at.

Russia said the US Navy’s move was an unfriendly provocation and warned Washington to move far away from the Crimean Peninsula and its Black Sea coast. Threatening behavior from NATO. The exercise is said to be completed within two weeks.

Prior to the arrival of US warships, the Russian Navy began training in the Black Sea on Wednesday, rehearsing shooting at targets on the ground and in the air. The training took place the day after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on Moscow to end the military buildup.

In Ukraine, near the Russian-merged Crimea border, troops rehearsed to repel tank and infantry attacks, with its Defense Minister Andriy Taran as a member of the European parliament in Brussels and Russia as a nuclear weapon in Crimea. He said he was preparing to store.

Thalang did not provide evidence of his claim, but quoted Russia’s latest information in Kiev, stating that 56 battalion-sized tactical groups had gathered 110,000 troops on the Ukrainian border. It was.

Epoch Times Photo
On April 8, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited a military position near the front line with Russian-backed separatists on a business trip in the Donbas region of Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Distribution via Reuters)

Clash in eastern Ukraine

In eastern Ukraine, where government troops fought Russian-backed separatists in a seven-year conflict that Kiev says killed 14,000 people, fighting has increased in recent weeks.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met with Stoltenberg in Brussels prior to a video conference of all 30 NATO allies, said the alliance “addressed Russia’s aggressive actions in and around Ukraine” without giving details. I will do it. “

Russia’s relations with the United States fell to new post-Cold War lows last month after US President Joe Biden said he thought Vladimir Putin was a “murderer.”

In a phone call with Putin on Tuesday, Biden proposed holding a summit meeting among estranged leaders to address a number of issues, including alleviating tensions over Ukraine.

The Kremlin on Wednesday is premature to speak concretely about such a summit, and holding such a conference looks like a thinly veiled reference to potential US sanctions. He said it would depend on Washington’s future actions.

Russia has regularly accused NATO of destabilizing Europe by strengthening its troops in the Baltic countries and Poland (all members of the Atlantic Alliance) after Moscow annexed Crimea.

NATO denied Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu’s allegation that the alliance had deployed 40,000 troops and 15,000 military equipment near the Russian border, primarily in the Black Sea and Baltic regions.

Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Robin Emmott

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