During talks with Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov, U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace assured him of their readiness to take very decisive steps to act preventively in case of direct Russian aggression against Ukraine.
“I have been assured of unconditional support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the borders recognised by the international community. And I have been assured that very serious consultations are taking place between other NATO and EU partners on their readiness to take very decisive steps, in particular, to act preventively. This will provide for both political and economic steps, and, in particular, some assistance to Ukraine,” Reznikov said.
According to the minister, he had the opportunity to meet not only with the U.S. Secretary of Defence, but also with representatives of the U.S. Department of State, the National Security Council, senators, and representatives of Congress.
“Everywhere the same phrase sounds: ‘We are sending very serious signals that, God forbid, direct intervention in the territory of Ukraine and aggression by the Russian Federation will cost them pretty much in all senses’,” said the minister. He added that the parties agreed that it is no longer enough just to express concern in the current situation.
At the same time, the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that any decision by the United States to send military advisers and more weapons to Ukraine would increase tensions in the region. He also noted that Moscow “is not going to attack anyone; Russia does not hatch any aggressive plans.”
As a reminder, according to Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Russia amassed more than 92,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders and is preparing for an attack in late January-early February next year. During the attack, the Russians could use aircraft, artillery, and armoured troops with airborne assaults in the east, Odesa and Mariupol, as well as invade through the territory of Belarus.