Joseph Borrell revealed on Monday that Russia had sent more than 150,000 military personnel to the border with Ukraine and the Crimean zone. This is the largest Russian detachment in the region, he said.
Last week, the United States of America accused Russia of sending some 25,000 military personnel to the border with Ukraine, but the actual number may be much higher. According to this Monday, the head of European diplomacy, Joseph Borrell, there are currently more than 150,000 Russian soldiers in the border area and in Crimea. “This is the largest military detachment ever along the Ukrainian borders,” said the official, however refusing to reveal the source of the figures, according to AFP.
The situation near the Russian border with Ukraine has been worsening throughout this April, with several officials, namely NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, guaranteeing that this is the “largest concentration of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 ″. The crisis led the organization last week in Brussels to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, for a meeting where the head of the American diplomacy was also present.
The meeting came a week after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the “only way” to end the war in the east of the country would be through NATO membership, thereby sending a “real signal” to Russia. At the time, Stoltenberg argued that this is a decision that rests exclusively with NATO allies and that no one has the “right to meddle or interfere in this process”, alluding to the fact that the Kremlin said that accession would only “make the situation worse. ”
For Borrell, it is clear that tensions between Russia and Ukraine are “increasing”, a situation that is due to the deployment of troops, but also to the state of health of Alexei Navalny. “In general, relations with Russia are not improving,” he said at the entrance to a meeting with European Union foreign ministers, this Monday, by videoconference. “On the contrary, tensions are increasing in several areas.”
“The situation on the Ukrainian border, with the mobilization of forces from Russia, (…) is very dangerous, and we call on Russia to withdraw its troops,” he said, adding that he invited Dmytro Kuleba to participate in the Foreign Affairs Council in a to elucidate the heads of European diplomacy about the “state of the situation” in the border area.
The official admitted that he was “very concerned” about Navalny’s health, informing journalists that this Sunday he received “a letter” from the Russian opponent’s team and that, when he traveled to Moscow in February, he had “put it on top” from the table ”the question of his treatment, without his request“ having been heard ”. “Now, [Navalny’s] situation has worsened. We hold the Russian authorities responsible for Navalny’s state of health, ”he underlined.
Source: with Agencies