Ukraine tensions International

Amid Ukraine crisis, NATO sends planes, ships to eastern Europe

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, left, being greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.AP

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, left, being greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.AP

NATO allies have put forces on standby and sent ships and fighter jets to bolster Europe’s eastern defences as tensions soar over Russia’s military buildup around Ukraine, the alliance said Monday.

Tensions have soared over Russia’s deployment of some 1,00,000 troops and heavy armour at its neighbour’s borders, despite the Kremlin’s insistence it is not planning a new incursion.

The U.S., Britain and Australia ordered diplomats’ families to leave Kiev, while France told its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Ukraine.

But both Kiev and the European Union’s foreign policy chief said any withdrawal of diplomatic personnel appeared premature, amid doubts over how imminent any attack could be.

Top U.S. diplomat Antony Blinken was to dial in to a meeting of EU counterparts in Brussels to brief them on his meeting Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, where the two sides failed to make a breakthrough but agreed to keep talking.

The U.S. is trying to marshal its allies to prepare an unprecedented package of sanctions for Moscow if its sends in more of its forces.

The U.S.-led NATO alliance said its members were placing troops “on standby” and sending ships and jets to bolster eastern Europe’s defences in response to the Russian buildup, pointing to recent decisions by Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands to mobilise forces.

’Will defend allies’

“NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all allies,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

The Kremlin accused the alliance of ramping up tensions through “information hysteria” and “concrete actions”, adding that the risk of an offensive by Ukrainian troops against pro-Russia separatists was “very high.”


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 11:28:01 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/amid-ukraine-crisis-nato-sends-planes-ships-to-eastern-europe/article38320817.ece