Russia has reinforced about 120,000 troops near the neighboring country and ask the western defense alliance to withdraw its troops and weapons from Eastern Europe and Ukraine, a former Soviet state, since joining the Western defense alliance.
US officials said on Saturday Russia’s military build-up has been expanded to include supplies to treat casualties of any conflict. Across the Ukrainian border, locals were trained as reservists while the government prepared.
Moscow denies any invasion plans but on Sunday said it would ask NATO to clarify whether it intends to make key security commitments after previously saying the alliance’s response to Their claims are not far enough.
“If they don’t intend to do so, then they should explain why,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on state television. “This will be an important question in determining our future proposals.”
The US said it was waiting for a response from Russia. NATO said it would not withdraw from Eastern Europe or ban Ukraine, but it was ready to discuss topics such as arms control and confidence-building measures.
Washington has spent weeks trying to build a deal with its European partners on a strong package of sanctions against Ukraine. But the issue is divisive, with Germany urging “caution”.
The European Union depends on Russia for about a third of its gas supplies, and any disruption would exacerbate the existing energy crisis caused by shortages.
“We are concerned about the energy situation in Europe because it presents a vulnerability to being too dependent on one natural gas supplier and that is why the NATO allies agree that we I need to work and focus on diversifying supplies,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenburg.
Britain said on Sunday it would expand the scope of possible sanctions in legislation this week to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We think he most likely wants to invade Ukraine. That is why we are doing all we can, through deterrence and diplomacy, to urge him to repeal,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told the BBC.
In a separate interview with Sky News, Truss, who will visit both Ukraine and Russia over the next two weeks, said the law would allow Britain to achieve more “so no one thinks they’ll be immune to it.” those sanctions.” (Sky News is owned by Comcast, the parent company of NBC News.)
Asked if the new powers might include the possibility of expropriation in London, Truss said: “Nothing to talk about.”
A White House official said the Biden administration plans to daily relieve Russians of the burden of US export controls if Russia invades Ukraine and focus on industrial sectors, a White House official said. know Saturday. Earlier, a top trade official had said that “key people” would face “major sanctions”.
Stoltenburg said NATO has no plans to deploy combat troops to non-NATO Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion, adding, “We are focused on helping.”
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/nato-calls-europe-diversify-energy-supply-standoff-russia-rcna14117 NATO urges Europe to diversify energy supplies amid standoff with Russia