Russia ‘repositioning’, not withdrawing troops from Kyiv: Nato chief
Brussels, Mar 31 (EFE).- Russia is not withdrawing its troops from Kyiv to concentrate on the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, as Moscow had announced, but is merely “repositioning” its units, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.
Stoltenberg acknowledged Russia’s recent statements that it “will reduce its military operations around Kyiv and northern Ukraine.”
“But Russia has repeatedly lied about its intentions,” the Nato chief said during a press conference to present his annual report for 2021. “So we can only judge Russia on its actions, not on its words. According to our intelligence, Russian units are not withdrawing, but repositioning.”
“Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and reinforce its offensive in the Donbas region,” he added.
Stoltenberg said that Moscow was keeping up pressure on the Ukrainian capital and other cities, and warned of “additional offensive actions, bringing even more suffering.”
“Russia must end this senseless war, withdraw all its troops, and engage in talks in good faith,” he said.
Regarding negotiations held this week between Russian and Ukrainian delegations hosted by Nato member Turkey, Stoltenberg welcomed “all efforts to try to find a political solution to this brutal, senseless war.”
But at the same time, he acknowledged that “we have seen little willingness from the Russian side to find a political solution.”
“What we see is a continued military invasion of Ukraine. We see continued shelling of cities and we see that Russia is repositioning some of their troops, moving some of them around, most likely to reinforce their efforts in the Donbas region. So we need to judge Russia on their actions, not on their words,” he said.
The Norwegian politician also stressed that Nato has been supporting the Ukrainian army “for years”, providing it with “modern equipment, different types of weapons, and also supported the modernization of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” which has made them “stronger, better equipped, better trained than ever before.”
At the same time, he praised the commitment of Ukrainian soldiers, which has enabled them to “stand up against the invading Russian forces.”
“This courage, the strength, the commitment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, has impressed and inspired the whole world,” Stoltenberg said. EFE