The concentration of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has not diminished. This was stated by the deputy head of the office of the President of Ukraine Igor Zhovkva on Wednesday, January 12.
“The concentration of Russian troops around the Ukrainian borders … unfortunately, has not diminished. It continues to hesitate, but we see no action to withdraw troops and return them to their places of permanent deployment. We have information about the beginning of the next exercises near the borders of Ukraine, “Zhovkva said on the air of Ukrainian Radio.
He noted that the Armed Forces of Ukraine “will be ready to fight back” in the event of an aggravation of the current situation, but added that he himself hopes for a diplomatic solution. He also stressed the importance of negotiations with Russia.
On January 12, the head of the press service of the US State Department, Ned Price, said that Washington did not see any signs of de-escalation of the situation around Ukraine. At the same time, according to him, “de-escalation can happen even tomorrow, even on Friday.”
On the same day, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Stoltenberg called the Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels “a difficult but important discussion.” He said that the parties discussed the situation in Ukraine, as well as security issues in Europe. The Alliance Secretary General stressed that there are disagreements between Russia and NATO, which “are not easy to overcome, but it was important to start a dialogue.”
At a press conference following the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said that de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine is possible if Kiev is forced to comply with the Minsk agreements. He stressed that NATO should stop military assistance to Ukraine.