Ukraine PM calls for NATO’s help against Russia

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With the massive gathering of Russian troops still threatening Ukraine, with US intelligence warning In the wake of the possible attack, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Thursday urged NATO to send warships to the Black Sea and increase air travel across Russia’s border.

“Observing the constant presence of NATO allies in the Black Sea could be a very powerful signal,” Shmyhal said in an interview with POLITICO and a videoconference from his office in Kyiv.

“Similarly, a very strong signal could be an increase in smart and light aircraft across the Russian border, especially in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea,” he said.

Shmyhal’s request he repeated the thought Polish President Andrzej Duda met with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday. Mr Duda also called for more troops to be deployed to Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, NATO deployed troops ready to fight in the four countries, led by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany.

“We are constantly receiving reports of Russian arrests, even aggressive arrests around Ukraine’s borders,” Duda said.

In an interview with POLITICO, Shmyhal said Ukraine had joined forces with US intelligence on a significant increase in the number of Russian troops on the border – not only on the border with Donetsk region which is very busy with Russian-backed separatists, as well. in Crimea and Belarus – with an estimated 100,000 troops.

Ukrainian officials say thousands of Russian troops have remained in Belarus following the coup d’état earlier this fall, and that Russia has created and deployed new law enforcement agencies on the Belarus-Ukraine border with the approval of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Some analysts believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin may want to take over much of Ukraine’s territory, among other things, to build a bridge between Russia and Crimea.

But when US officials informed NATO allies of threatening Russia’s attacks, Ukrainian officials, including Shmyhal, however, said he believed the Kremlin was only focusing on greater efforts to destabilize the EU and NATO.

They stated that destabilization efforts include exploiting rising gas prices around the world, and a ban on access, is a concern in some European countries about the shortage of oil in the winter, as well as among politicians who are concerned about angry citizens. money for high-rise housing.

The Russian government and state-owned gas company Gazprom are also seeking legal approval to operate the newly constructed Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines, and some Western officials believe the Kremlin is trying to exploit high prices and raise concerns as a constraint. immediate success.

Shmyhal said Russia’s threats were also designed to thwart Ukraine’s efforts in economic and political integration with the EU, as well as its security alliance with NATO.

“Moscow is always demonstrating its military prowess and certainly wants to undermine our Euro-Atlantic ambitions and our Euro-Atlantic ambitions,” Shmyhal said in an interview. “And in order to ensure that these challenges are met with the proper fear, the Russian Federation regularly regroups its troops on the border with Ukraine.”

Russia also staged a similar military operation in late spring, sparking controversy over Putin’s annual speech at the Russian Federal Assembly, prompting him to use the address in an impressive announcement. No one came, and as soon as he finished speaking, the power was taken away from their boundary.

Officials from several allied countries said US insane experts had shown that there were significant differences in the construction but did not say much. One EU official said the intelligence had found evidence of the construction of field hospitals and other facilities that were not seen during the gathering of Russian troops and equipment, including tanks.

NATO ships have it exercise in the Black Sea several times last year.

Mu recent evidence before the US Congress, Alina Polyakova, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, Washington think tank, stressed the need for NATO allies to invest more resources and attention in the Black Sea Region (BSR) precisely because of the impending threat. and Russia.

“The BSR is essential to the US goal of ending Russia’s atrocities against its allies, ensuring stability in Europe, and protecting the right to freedom of movement,” Polyakova said. “Inadequate resources and poor management have undermined the ability of the United States and its allies to achieve these goals at a time when Russia is increasingly aggressive and China is growing in the region.”

He added, “The BSR is a test site for the Kremlin against the loyalty and determination of the Alliance, which has grown over the past two decades in a number of well-known and uncoordinated areas: from Georgia’s 2008 uprising to Crimea in eastern Crimea. , cyberattacks and cyberbullying. ”

Shmyhal said that in addition to the military coup, Russia has always used a combination of anti-Ukrainian and Western tactics, including cyberattacks and disinformation.

In addition to the expansion of maritime and air expansion by NATO, he said it would be useful if NATO allies increase mission missions in Ukraine.

“Improving the training according to the size and stability of the participating forces in Ukraine,” he said. “This could be another powerful sign.”

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