NATO Defense Ministers: We are strengthening our ground forces in the east – Russia’s actions are a threat

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Their serious concern about Russian military accumulation in and around Ukraine, NATO Defense Ministers call on Russia to choose the path of diplomacy.

“We are seriously concerned about the large-scale, unprovoked and unjustified Russian military build-up in and around Ukraine and Belarus. We urge her Russia, in the most intense way, to choose the path of diplomacy and to immediately reverse this accumulation and withdraw its forces from Ukraine, in accordance with its international obligations and commitments. “We remain committed to our dual approach to Russia: strong deterrence and defense, combined with openness to dialogue,” said NATO Defense Ministers.

Continuing, the ministers emphasize that “the actions of Russia pose a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security “, therefore,” in order to ensure the defense of all the Allies “, announce the deployment of additional ground forces in the eastern part of the Alliance, as well as additional naval and air means. “Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-scalable. “We are ready to further strengthen our defensive and deterrent stance to respond to all possibilities,” they said, adding: “Our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is iron. “We are united in defending each other.”

They also emphasize that NATO remains committed to its fundamental principles, including the right of each nation to choose its own security arrangements. “We reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders. As previously mentioned, any further Russian aggression against Ukraine will have huge consequences and will have a high price. “NATO will continue to coordinate closely with stakeholders and other international organizations, including the EU.”

Finally, in their statement, the 30 NATO ministers stressed that all Allies continue to pursue diplomacy and dialogue with Russia, on issues of Euro-Atlantic security even at the highest level. “We support all these efforts and the efforts in the form of Normandy for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. We have expressed our readiness to participate in a Renewed European Security Dialogue launched by Poland as the current President of the OSCE. We have made substantial proposals to Russia to strengthen the security of all nations in the Euro-Atlantic area and we are waiting for a response. We have repeatedly offered and continue to offer further dialogue through the NATO-Russia Council and we are ready to engage in it. “We strongly encourage Russia to reciprocate and choose diplomacy and de-escalation.”

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