NATO chief says European security faces ‘new normal’ | News | DW

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that NATO continued to see an increase in Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s borders even as Moscow made gestures to show it wanted to continue on. the way of diplomacy.

Stoltenberg said the alliance was preparing to establish a French-led battlegroup in Romania to deal with what he described as the “new normal” in European security.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says Europe is facing a ‘new normal’ due to Russia’s actions on Ukraine’s borders

“The new norm is that Russia is ready to challenge some fundamental tenets of our security,” Stoltenberg said.

He added: “We don’t know what is going to happen, but we know what has already happened.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy later acknowledged that his country had seen no change in Russia’s military posture on its borders. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal took to Twitter to thank the European Parliament for financial aid of 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion).

What did the United States and Russia say?

Stoltenberg’s updates come ahead of a call scheduled for Wednesday between US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

What concerns both leaders is something the NATO chief pointed out, which is that Russia has shown a willingness to use force to coerce sovereign nations and get NATO to compromise. on its basic principles.

After Stoltenberg concluded his remarks, Russia’s RIA news agency said the Russian Foreign Ministry was “no longer interested” in the NATO secretary general’s statements.

What will defense ministers discuss at NATO headquarters?

Two days of meetings are scheduled at NATO headquarters in Brussels for defense ministers to determine how to strengthen the eastern flank of the alliance.

The UK announced on Wednesday it would double the size of its deployment in Estonia and send tanks and armored fighting vehicles to the Baltic country.

The proposed battlegroup in Romania would mirror similar deployments in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Poland.

What’s going on on NATO’s eastern flank?

The United States has already begun an enhanced deployment of 5,000 additional troops to Poland and Romania on news of Russia’s military escalation along Ukraine’s borders.

In Estonia, the country’s director of foreign intelligence, Mikk Marran, told a press briefing announcing his agency’s annual report that he expects a limited invasion of Ukraine that would put pressure on the Baltic States.

“At the moment, our assessment is that they would avoid cities with large populations, because it takes a lot of troops to control these areas. But there is no clear understanding of the path that Russian troops could exploit,” Marran said.

What is Ukraine’s position?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted to news of a possible invasion of his country earlier in the week by declaring Wednesday “Unity Day” to rally the nation against a credible military threat in a way that says as much about his roots as a comedian as he does about his country.

Women hold Ukrainian flags as they gather to celebrate Unity Day in Odessa

People across Ukraine demonstrated patriotically in the face of a possible full-scale Russian invasion of their country

Later, he had to clarify to international media that what he called the day of the invasion of Russia was said ironically.

Speaking in Mariupol, the eastern port city, on Wednesday, Zelenskyy said: “We are not afraid of the forecast, we are not afraid of anyone, any enemy.”

He added: “We will defend ourselves.

Zelesnkiy visits a military base in Rivne, Ukraine.

Zelenskiy was stoic as more than 100,000 Russian soldiers stood massed on his country’s borders.

Zelenskyy spent part of ‘Unity Day’ observing military drills as soldiers practiced using Javelin anti-tank missiles in western Rivne, alongside military observers from member states of NATO like Poland and the United Kingdom.

In the capital, Kyiv authorities gave a tour of the bomb shelter under the city’s central railway station as well as a fortified central control system to keep the transport system moving in the event of a crisis.

Ukraine has also officially called on the UN Security Council to discuss a resolution in the Russian Duma to formally recognize occupied Lugansk and Donetsk.

ar/wd (AFP, Reuters)

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