NATO has called on Russia to immediately de-escalate tensions on its borders with Ukraine and to immediately end its military build-up, which is unjustified, unexplained and deeply concerning.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a briefing in Brussels on Tuesday, April 13, following an extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Council, which was convened at Ukraine’s initiative, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

“In recent weeks, Russia has moved thousands of combat-ready troops to Ukraine’s borders. The largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. […] Russia’s considerable military build-up is unjustified, unexplained, and deeply concerning. Russia must end this military build-up in and around Ukraine, stop its provocations, and de-escalate immediately,” Stoltenberg said.

“We regret Russia’s decision not to participate in the recent meeting at the OSCE to dispel concerns about its unusual military activities. Russia must respect its international commitments,” he added.

Stoltenberg noted that several Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in eastern Ukraine over the last days and expressed his condolences for the recent losses suffered by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

He recalled that NATO’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering. The Allies do not, and will not recognize Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. NATO continues to call on Russia to end its support for the militants in eastern Ukraine and withdraw its forces from Ukrainian territory.

Source – Ukrinform