A statement appeared on the NATO website about the decision to bring the forces into readiness and send additional ships and military aircraft to their locations in Eastern Europe.
The report notes that in this way the alliance strengthens deterrence and defence “against the background of Russia’s continued buildup of forces in and around Ukraine.” In particular, a frigate and 4 F-16 fighters will be sent to Lithuania from Denmark. Ships from Spain will go to Bulgaria. Two F-35 fighters from the Netherlands will also arrive in Bulgaria. France announced the transfer of forces to Romania. And the US is now exploring the possibility of expanding its military presence in Eastern Europe.
Earlier, Moscow has already warned that by accusing Russia of preparing an “invasion” of Ukraine the West is building up NATO troops in Eastern Europe. According to the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, the alliance is increasing arms supplies to Ukraine, where the number of Western instructors has increased.
West accused Russia of all possible sins, though no proof was shown
On Sunday, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, also warned that Western countries are preparing several major provocations in the situation around Ukraine, which may include informational or military ones.
“Ukraine is perceived by the West as an instrument of influence, pursuing its interests in the region, destabilizing the situation, influencing some processes, we receive endless accusations,” she said.
Before that, the British Foreign Ministry unprovenly accused the Russian special services of allegedly planning to put a “pro-Russian leader” in Kiev, a former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Yevgeny Muraev, who himself came under Russian sanctions in 2018 and claims that his family has “assets arrested” there.
In connection with this, Russia’s Embassy in the UK has urged the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to stop dangerous rhetorical provocations about Ukraine.
“We strongly urge London to stop foolish rhetorical provocations, which are very dangerous in the current overheated situation […] The latest news, concerning Russia’s plans to bring to power in Kiev former Verkhovnaya Rada deputy, who remains under Moscow’s sanctions as a person posing a threat to national security, is completely anecdotal,” the Embassy noted.
Zakharova focused attention on the Bloomberg publication, which cited “one diplomat in Beijing,” claiming that Chinese President Xi Jinping had allegedly asked Russian President Putin not to invade Ukraine during the Olympic Games, which Beijing hosts on February 4-20, “in order not to ruin the celebration.”
“It is no longer a fake, but already a special information operation by US respective agencies through Bloomberg,” the diplomat said.
She noted ironically that “a diplomat in China” is actually Americans, as no one who was supposed or who was likely to have this information was approached by ‘Bloomberg undercover journalists’ for confirmation.
“Although Bloomberg used to abide by a “golden rule” in the old and not so evil days that at least two, or even three, verified sources should confirm the information obtained,” the diplomat stated.
UK and US diplomats being withdrawn from Ukraine
Also, the UK and US have begun withdrawing some of their staff from their embassies in Kiev in fear of the alleged Russian “build-up of troops in and around Ukraine.” However, the EU chief official, Josep Borrell, claims that EU diplomats will not leave the country.
“We are not going to do something like this, because we do not see any special reasons for this,” he said before the meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
Amidst all the accusations of Russian possible military build-ups, Ukraine constantly asks help from Western “comrades” being afraid not to be able to resist a possible Russian attack. That is why the country asked Germany to supply weapons, though Germany’s position excludes the supply of lethal ones to countries with territorial conflicts, as stated by the representative of the country’s Defence Ministry.
Ukraine pushes Germany to “correct mistakes of the past”
Not long ago, the Ukrainian government blamed Germany for WWII and claimed it owns Ukraine to help to change “the mistakes of the past.” According to the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, Berlin should abandon the Nord Stream 2 project as one of the “tough” measures that should be taken by the collective West against Russia to prevent the aggravation of the crisis in Ukraine.
“In order to prevent a new Russian invasion, our partners in Europe and the US would have to take very tough preventative punitive measures against Moscow before Putin extends his military intervention, and not afterwards, when it is too late,” Melnyk said.
Melnyk went on to try to accuse Germany of its historic responsibility for World War II, suggesting that Berlin has the same kind of obligation to help Ukraine today as it has had to assist Israel. The diplomat claimed that support from Berlin is Germany’s historical duty for its “eternal historical responsibility to Ukraine for Nazi tyranny.”
However, the EU does not plan to impose preventive sanctions against Russia in case of its hypothetical attack on Ukraine.
“No one talked about preventive sanctions against Russia,” Borrel said. “There can be no preventive sanctions, and we are not talking about them. We are discussing what should be done if something happens, so as not to waste weeks on discussions.”
Russia to be sanctioned anyway – with its guilt prooved or not
Despite such a statement from a chief of the EU, yesterday, on January 23, Sputnik reported with reference to the Austrian Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg, that the EU is working on a new extensive package of economic and financial sanctions against Russia in case the situation around Ukraine escalates.
“At the moment, the work is underway behind the scenes to develop an extensive package of economic and financial sanctions. In the event of an escalation, a very clear, unequivocal and quick response will follow,” Schallenberg said.
The Foreign Minister also did not exclude the possibility of Russia’s removal from the SWIFT interbank payment system.
“Nothing is excluded from the discussion. Much will depend on what actually happens. If Russian troops invade Ukrainian territory on a broad front, then this will be the worst-case scenario,” he said.
What is more outraging, is that he claimed Russia will face sanctions not only in the case in it possibly “invades Ukraine” but even if there are any “cyberattacks or attacks by mercenaries without identification badges” detected. Thus, the EU confirms it will accuse Russia even the mercenaries are not proven to be from the country or has any connection to it.
“Nothing is excluded from the discussion. Much will depend on what actually happens. If Russian troops invade Ukrainian territory on a broad front, then this will be the worst-case scenario. There are other scenarios as well: cyberattacks or attacks by mercenaries without identification badges,” Schallenberg said.