Russia is massing an unusual number of troops on the border with Ukraine, posing an early test for the Biden administration.
Russia has warned Nato against sending any troops to help Ukraine amid reports of a significant Russian military buildup on its borders.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would take “additional measures” if Nato were to make such a move.
Sporadic, low-level clashes continue in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists. Source: BBC.
The buildup of forces on the Ukrainian border, along with hundreds of cease-fire violations in Ukraine’s eastern territories controlled by Russia-backed separatists, has alarmed NATO and sparked a flurry of phone calls between senior members of the Biden administration and their Ukrainian and Russian counterparts.
“They’re probing, they’re trying to see what we’re going to do, what NATO would do, what the Ukrainians would do,” said Jim Townsend, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Europe and NATO until 2017. “Is this a jumpy administration, or is this an administration that’s going to act with resolve? They’re doing all of these things to assess where the new administration is.”
Envoys from the 30-member NATO alliance met on Thursday to discuss the matter and expressed concern about Russia’s large-scale military exercises and the uptick in cease-fire violations, a NATO official told Foreign Policy. “Russia’s destabilizing actions undermine efforts to de-escalate tensions,” the official said. “NATO continues to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation closely,” one source said. Source: Foreign Policy.com