The build-up of Russian military presence poses a threat not only to the security of Ukraine but also to the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic area. Ukrainian diplomacy is currently working actively with partners to develop a comprehensive package to deter Russia from further aggressive actions.
“The movement of Russian troops and military equipment along the state border and in Donbas may indicate that Russia is preparing for a potential new military operation against Ukraine. The new invasion will further destabilise Europe. That is why Ukraine and its partners must show strength now in order to avoid the need to prove it later,” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said following participation in the NATO meeting and bilateral talks in Riga.
The minister said that during the NATO ministerial meeting and talks with foreign ministers, he discussed in detail the steps to deter Russia from further aggression.
“The comprehensive deterrence package will include political pressure and strong signals of support for Ukraine, new sanctions that could hit Russia’s economy if it decides to invade, as well as deepened security and defence cooperation. A strong Ukraine is the best factor in deterring Russia from a new stage of aggression. A strong Ukraine is a strong and resilient NATO eastern flank.”
The Ukrainian chief diplomat called “illegal” the demands of Russian President Vladimir Putin to obtain guarantees for Russia that NATO will not expand to the East. According to him, Moscow cannot prevent the rapprochement of our state with the Alliance and has no voting power in the relevant discussions.
“Any Russian proposals to discuss with NATO, the United States or other countries any so-called guarantees that the Alliance will not expand to the East are illegal,” Kuleba said.
The foreign minister reaffirmed Ukraine’s commitment to pursue large-scale reforms to transform Ukraine’s security and defence sector in line with NATO standards. He also said that NATO Allies praise Ukraine’s progress in reforms.