Khomchak at NATO Military Committee: Russia keeps 80,000 troops near Ukraine

Khomchak at NATO Military Committee: Russia keeps 80,000 troops near Ukraine

The Russian Federation continues to keep about 80,000 troops and a significant amount of weapons and military equipment near the border with Ukraine. Russian ships and boats stay in the Azov-Black Sea region.

“Despite the statement by the minister of defense of the Russian Federation on the return of troops to places of permanent deployment, Russia continues to keep about 80,000 personnel and a significant amount of weapons and military equipment near various parts of the border with Ukraine. Ships and boats transferred to reinforce the Russian group from the Northern Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla also continue to be in the Azov-Black Sea region,” Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Ruslan Khomchak said at a meeting of the NATO Military Committee in a format with Ukraine, Ukrinform reports with reference to the General Staff statement on Facebook.

According to him, this allows Russia to quickly increase the offensive capabilities of groups of its armed forces to carry out offensive actions against Ukraine.

Moreover, the Ukrainian military leadership does not rule out the possibility that Russia may also use the territory and infrastructure of other states to increase political and military pressure on Ukraine.

In addition, Khomchak noted, a potential threat is the joint strategic exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus “West – 2021” scheduled for September.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine called for a systematic and consolidated approach to neutralizing Russian challenges and threats in the context of the situation in Ukraine, where Ukraine has been at the forefront of Moscow's imperial ambitions for eight years.

“In fact, every day brings us signs of a new cold war. At the same time, we are talking about potential conflicts that may arise not only in Europe but also in the Arctic, the Middle East, North and Central Africa, the Mediterranean, etc. - wherever Russia demonstrates aggressive ambitions and military power, provokes instability and creates areas of tension,” Khomchak stressed.

In turn, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chair of the NATO Military Committee and Senior Military Adviser to the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said that Russia continued its pattern of destabilizing aggressive actions, including ongoing violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and reinforcements at the Ukrainian border.

“Although we have seen some reduction in the number of Russian troops near the border, tens of thousands remain including their weapons and equipment. Russia is trying to impose restrictions in the Black Sea, including restricting access to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait,” he stressed.

NATO’s Chiefs of Staff met in Brussels with Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak and discussed the security situation in and around Ukraine after Russia's build-up of troops near the Ukrainian border.

“This afternoon, the chiefs of staff of the Allies met with their Ukrainian and Georgian counterparts. Russia continues to show a steady trend of destabilizing behavior, including violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia,” Chair of the NATO Military Committee Stuart Peach told journalists in Brussels following the meeting on May 18, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

He noted that during the discussion with Colonel-General Khomchak, the military leaders of the Allies discussed the situation in and around Ukraine, as well as the progress of the reform of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“The Chiefs of Staff of the Alliance reaffirmed their full support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and discussed future cooperation in and around the Black Sea. The Military Committee called on Ukraine to continue the implementation of major reforms, to ensure security and stability for all Ukrainians,” Peach added.


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