White House and NATO officials responded to a statement issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin that it would activate strategic deterrence, including its own nuclear weapons.
“If this rhetoric is combined with what they are doing on the ground in Ukraine to wage war with an independent sovereign state and make a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, this adds to the seriousness of the situation. “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNN.
“This is why we support Ukraine, but it is also why we have significantly increased NATO’s presence in the east over the past few weeks and months,” he added. , More ships, more planes, and why we must now recognize that we are facing a new normal for our safety. “
President Putin said in a television speech with the Prime Minister on Sunday morning that he would step up preparations for deterrence. He said the move was in response to European Union sanctions and economic sanctions, including the removal of some Russian banks from the SWIFT Banking Information Services.
“High-ranking officials from major NATO countries allow us to make positive comments about our country, so I order the Defense Minister and Chief of Staff here. [of the Russian Armed Forces] To put Russian deterrence on combat alert, “Putin said.
Later on Sunday, Ukrainian officials said they would send a delegation to hold talks along the border between Ukraine and Belarus.
“This is the pattern seen by President Putin in the course of this conflict. This is to create a threat that does not exist to justify further attacks, and the global community and the American people need to consider it. White House spokesman Jen Psaki told ABC on Sunday that the United States is ready to send more economic, humane, and defensive military aid.
“The sanctions announced yesterday have made Russia comparable to Iran and separated from the banking system with the global community,” Pusaki said.
Last Sunday, Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was eerily quiet after a big explosion illuminated the morning sky and authorities reported the explosion at one of the airports. Curfew kept people away from the street, so cars only occasionally appeared on the deserted boulevard. Instead, horrified residents moved to homes, underground parking lots, and subway stations in anticipation of a full-scale Russian attack.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said Russian troops had blocked the city of Helson in the Black Sea and the port of Berdyans’k in the Sea of Azov.
He also said that Russian troops controlled an air force base near the city of Kherson and the city of Azov, Henicesk. Ukrainian authorities also reported fighting near Odessa, Mykolaiv, and other areas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.