NATO Secretary-General “Preparation for Russia’s invasion response and dialogue… Decide depending on the situation”

“Preparation for various types of attacks, such as cyber attacks and coup attempts”

“We are ready to increase our troops in Eastern Europe… There is no plan to deploy combat units in Ukraine”

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General

[AFP 연합뉴스 자료사진. 재판매 및 DB 금지]

(Washington = Yonhap News) Correspondent Lee Sang-heon = With the Ukraine crisis at the critical crossroads of armed conflict and dramatic diplomatic resolution, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that he was prepared to respond to a Russian invasion, but We reconfirmed our position that we are waiting for the conversation as well.

“NATO is ready to engage in political dialogue[with Russia],” Stoltenberg said in a video interview hosted by the American think tank Atlantic Council on the 28th (local time). I am ready,” he said.

He noted that Russia is deploying thousands of combat units and the S-400 aircraft and air defense missile system in Belarus, north of Ukraine, and is watching closely.

He added that the NATO alliance is also ready to expand its forces in Eastern Europe.

“We have no plans to deploy combat units in Ukraine,” he said.

In particular, Secretary-General Stoltenberg said that Russia is preparing for various types of attack, even if it is not necessarily a ground attack.

He emphasized that Russia’s consolidation of troops on the Ukrainian border and Belarus could lead to an all-out invasion, but exemplifies cyberattacks, coup attempts and sabotage operations, and emphasized that “we need to prepare for various types of attacks.”

He also said that at this time, the alliance’s final decision will be made depending on the development of the situation, saying that it is not aware of Russia’s intentions regarding whether or not to invade Ukraine.

Amid speculation that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is imminent, NATO member states, including the United States, are continuing last-minute communications with Russia.

The United States sent a written response to Russia’s demands for security guarantees on the 26th, and Russia is expected to review it and reply soon.

In response, the US reportedly said that it could discuss disarmament and easing tensions while dismissing Russia’s demands to ban NATO’s eastward movement and the deployment of offensive weapons near Russia.

Although Russia responded that it was not satisfied with the US response, it showed that there were some positive aspects, such as a freeze on the deployment of medium- and short-range missiles in Europe.

In a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky the day before, U.S. President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to sovereignty and territorial integrity to Ukraine and reaffirmed that he and his allies are ready to respond decisively if Russia invades.

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