Friday 27 May 2022
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Nato not planning to deploy forces in Ukraine: Stoltenberg

Nato is reportedly planning to draw new ways to warn Russia for its continued assault on Ukraine even as Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of striking a deal with Kyiv

After blowing hot, the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) is now blowing cold. The Cold -vintage treaty force is not planning to deploy forces to Ukraine, the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said. This comes three days after Ukraine justified a possible intervention by Nato in the Russia-Ukraine war.

But Poland had yesterday called for a NATO peace mission “protected by armed forces” to help Ukraine. “This cannot be an unarmed mission,” Vice Premier Jaroslaw Kaczynski was quoted as saying by the Polish news agency PAP during a visit to Kyiv, “It must seek to provide humanitarian and peaceful aid to Ukraine.”

Also, Nato is reportedly planning to draw new ways to warn Russia over its continued assault on Ukraine. The organisation is set to ask its military commanders, troops, officials, and diplomats to find ways to deter Russia against the relentless battering of Ukrainian cities and ports that have left hundreds dead and triggered a massive refugee crisis in the East European nation.

At least 10 Nato allies have already deployed warplanes, troops, and ships along the eastern flank.

In a statement, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said the allies need to “reset military posture for this new reality”. “Ministers will start an important discussion on concrete measures to reinforce our security for the longer term, in all domains,” he added.

The 12 founding-member countries of Nato are the United States, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal. On 13, a Russian missile hit a Ukrainian base near the border with Nato member Poland.

Ukrainian defence minister Oleksii Reznikov is also expected to ask for more weapons from Nato countries as Russian forces advance towards capital Kyiv.

Meanwhile, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Russia on Wednesday to stop the military actions it started in Ukraine on 24 February. “The Russian Federation shall immediately suspend the military operations that it commenced on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine,” the judges said.

The judges said that Russia must also ensure that other forces under its control or supported by Moscow should not continue the military operation.

Meanwhile, thousands more refugees from Ukraine crossed into Eastern Europe today, where authorities are providing food, social services and school places to help people rebuild their lives away from war.

Three weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there are some signs the exodus is slowing although tens of thousands of people are arriving daily in what has become Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World Two.

More than 3 million people have left Ukraine so far, data from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) showed. The frontline states — Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Moldova — have been providing help to drive, feed or house refugees.

Elsewhere, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that the operation in Ukraine was unfolding successfully, in strict accordance with pre-approved plans and decried Western sanctions against Russia, describing them as aggression and with economic, political, information means.

Putin also said that the West has failed to wage an economic blitzkrieg against Russia. In effect these steps are aimed at worsening the lives of millions of people, Putin said of the sanctions that have delivered a crippling blow to Russia’s economy.

“One should clearly understand that the new set of sanctions and restrictions against us would have followed in any case, I want to emphasize this. Our military operation in Ukraine is just a pretext for the next sanctions,” Putin told a government meeting today.

Finally, a deal with Kyiv on “neutral status” for Ukraine as part of a peace agreement could be close, Russia’s foreign minister has said. Sergei Lavrov suggested in a media interview that talks with Kyiv were making ground despite the continued bloodshed, echoing cautiously optimistic comments overnight from Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“The negotiations are not easy for obvious reasons,” Lavrov told RBC news. “But nevertheless, there is some hope of reaching a compromise. Neutral status is now being seriously discussed seriously along, of course, with security guarantees. This is what is now being discussed at the talks. There are absolutely specific wordings and in my view, the sides are close to agreeing on them.”

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