| Photo: EFE
)20162653 20162653 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that Russia’s decision to prolong its military presence in Belarus, after the end of military exercises , is a sign that the Russian government is “preparing an invasion of Ukraine”.In an interview with “CBS News”, Stoltenberg reacted to the announcement that Russia and Belarus decided to extend the inspection time of forces that participated in their military exercises to after this Sunday, when the end of activities was scheduled.
“The fact that these exercises, which were supposed to end today, continue, fits on the idea that Russia is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine”, declared the Secretary General of NATO.
Stoltenberg aligned himself with the position of the United States, whose president, Joe Biden, said on Friday that he believed Russian president Vladimir Putin had already made the decision. are to invade Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken , also interpreted the extension of the maneuvers in Belarusian territory this Sunday as a sign that Russia is “about to invade” Ukraine, speaking to “CNN”.
20162653Stoltenberg stated that the Russian and Belarusian exercises were “planned for last fall” and are instead taking place now, “in the midst of this significant military escalation around Ukraine”.
According to the Norwegian politician , these exercises are the largest military deployment in Belarus since the Cold War. Since they began in 10 February, these maneuvers have raised concerns among the Kiev government. and its western partners.
According to Stoltenberg, NATO is willing to further “strengthen” its military presence east of the Alliance, to which Ukraine does not belong, in the event of a Russian invasion.
It was the Belarusian Defense Minister, Viktor Khrenin, who announced this Sunday that Russia will prolong its military presence in Belarus, using tension in eastern Ukraine as a justification.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has already denied invasion of Ukraine, said this week that the Russian-Belarusian maneuvers are defensive in nature and do not threaten anyone.