NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on German television.
Stoltenberg noted that more and more soldiers were constantly arriving in the area, and, contrary to what Moscow claims, the troops were not withdrawn. The Secretary-General added that Russia appeared to be looking for a pretext to attack.
Despite the rising tensions, Stoltenberg remains in favor of a political solution.
“We want to force Russia to change direction and come to the negotiating table,” he said.
Regarding Ukraine’s membership in NATO, the Secretary-General said the alliance is helping the country to enhance its defense capabilities, training and equipment. Stoltenberg emphasized that Ukraine’s membership depends on the joint decision of 30 members of the military organization. He stressed that at the moment, the main question is whether it is acceptable for a superpower like Russia to force another country to do what it can or cannot do.
The G7 foreign ministers denounced the violation of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine
In a statement issued on Saturday, the foreign ministers of the G7, which includes the world’s most developed industrialized nations, described with grave concern that the conflicting parties had violated the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
G7 ministers condemned the use of heavy weapons and artillery attacks on populated areas in the Donetsk Basin. It was emphasized that the incidents clearly violated the Minsk agreements aimed at resolving the conflict in Ukraine.
At the same time, they called on Russia to use its influence on the pro-Russian separatists and to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk Agreement. The ministers indicated that they were concerned about activities in the separatist areas and feared that “planned incidents” could be a pretext for military action.
Meanwhile, G7 representatives praised the statement of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, stressing his readiness to play a constructive role in peacebuilding.
Meanwhile, the World Bank said it was preparing to disburse $350 million to Ukraine, which the council will decide by the end of March. World Bank President David Malpass assured the Ukrainian president on Saturday that the group will continue to support short- and long-term financing for the Ukrainian people and economy.
Opening photo: Alexandre Rika
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