Pentagon Says It Doesn't Assess Russia's Troop Movements as Plan to Invade Ukraine in Coming Days
17:49 GMT 12.11.2021 (Updated: 18:57 GMT 12.11.2021)
© AP PhotoThis is an aerial view of the five-sided Pentagon building, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, in Arlington, Va., in 1975
© AP Photo
Earlier, Bloomberg claimed in a report that Washington had warned its European allies to be ready for a potential Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Moscow strongly denied these allegations, along with reports of a military build-up at the Ukrainian border.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley has stated that based on the movements of Russian troops at the border with Ukraine, the Pentagon sees no indication that Moscow is planning to invade its neighbour any time soon. He added, however, that the US continues to monitor the situation in case something changes.
"We are watching [their movements] very closely. It is not something that is overtly aggressive right this minute, in other words, there’s not something that indicates that they’re going to invade tonight or tomorrow sort of thing".
Milley noted that the current movements of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine are more significant than usual. However, the general pointed out that similar movements were noticed last April, and they turned out to be nothing more than a series of military exercises.
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12 November 2021, 17:59 GMT
Moscow, in turn, has repeatedly stressed that movements of its troops within its own sovereign territory should not concern foreign countries as Russia does not pose a threat to anyone. It slammed Bloomberg’s 12 November report on the US allegedly warning its European allies about the potential risk of Russian forces invading Ukraine as “groundless”.
Prior to this, several American news outlets reported spotting a buildup of Russian military forces at the border with Ukraine, sparking concerns in Washington regarding the purpose. The Kremlin dismissed the claims as a part of fake news campaign being waged against Russia.
Russia Asks European Countries to Pressure Ukraine Into Upholding Minsk Agreements
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov separately stated that Moscow has asked France and Germany to exert pressure on Ukrainian authorities so that they start fulfilling their commitments under the Minsk agreements in regards to the self-proclaimed people's republics in the country's east.
Lavrov namely pointed out that the passing of the Transitional Period bill by the Ukrainian parliament would signify Ukraine's de-facto exit from the Minsk agreements.
The bill, called "On the Basics of the State Policy of the Transitional Period", was introduced to Ukraine's parliament in August 2021 and details Kiev's plans for managing the territories of the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk after their "return" to government control. It includes provisions regulating "transitional justice", which would make many residents of the self-proclaimed republics responsible for certain actions during the internal conflict, thus eliminating the possibility of the amnesty promised under the Minsk accords.
11 April 2021, 10:56 GMT
Moscow has repeatedly condemned Kiev for doing practically nothing in terms of fulfilling the accords signed in Minsk in 2014 and 2015 with the aim of ending the war in Donbass and restoring peace in Ukraine. The Kremlin has on numerous occasions also urged Western countries to pressure the new authorities in Kiev, which came to power as a result of a coup in 2014, to fulfil their commitments under the Minsk agreements, but to no avail.