New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Pentagon ordered 8,500 troops on higher alert to potentially deploy to Europe as part of a NATO “response force” amid growing concern that Russia could soon make a military move on Ukraine. President Joe Biden consulted with key European leaders, underscoring US solidarity with allies there. Putting the US-based troops on heightened alert for Europe on Monday suggested diminishing hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin will back away from what Biden himself has said looks like a threat to invade neighbouring Ukraine.

Meanwhile, NATO said on Monday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets, and could also send additional troops to its south-east flank, in what Russia denounced as an escalation of tensions over Ukraine. The move added to a flurry of signals that the West is bracing for an aggressive Russian move against Ukraine, though Moscow denies any plan to invade.

After US, UK and Australia, Canada warns citizens not to visit Ukraine:

Canada has advised its nationals to cancel plans for non-essential trips to Ukraine amid growing tension between Russia and Ukraine border, Sputnik News Agency reported citing an advisory issued by the country's ministry of foreign affairs.

"Avoid non-essential travel to Ukraine due to ongoing Russian threats and military buildup in and around the country. If you are in Ukraine, you should evaluate if your presence is essential," the travel advisory on the ministry's website read.

The move follows a similar advisory by the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom who on Monday authorized the departure of some diplomatic personnel and their families from Kyiv. Other countries have expressed readiness to follow suit if the situation worsens, and advised their nationals to leave Ukraine by commercial means of transport.

Kremlin says watching U.S. actions over Ukraine with great concern:

Russia said on Tuesday it was watching with great concern after the United States put 8,500 troops on alert to be ready to deploy to Europe in case of an escalation in the Ukraine crisis. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Washington of fuelling tensions over Ukraine - repeating Moscow's line that the crisis is being driven by U.S. and NATO actions rather than by its own build-up of tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border.

Moscow continues to deny invasion claims:

Moscow has consistently denied claims about plans to attack Ukraine and stressed that it considers NATO's military activity near the Russian borders a threat to its national security. Last month Russia put forward proposals on security guarantees in Europe to the US and NATO, which are yet to give a response on them. Russia is demanding that NATO withdraw a promise to let Ukraine join one day and that the alliance pull back troops and weaponry from former Communist countries in eastern Europe that joined it after the Cold War.

Germany refuses to join other NATO members in providing weapons to Ukraine:

Germany's refusal to join other NATO members in providing weapons to Ukraine has annoyed some allies and raised questions about Berlin's resolve in standing up to Russia. The issue rose to the fore over the weekend following a report that Berlin had gone so far as to block Estonia from supplying old German howitzers to Kyiv to help defend itself against Russian troops massing near the Ukrainian border. Germany's stance on arms supplies does “not correspond to the level of our relations and the current security situation", Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan