Russian aggression against Ukraine will come at a ‘high price,’ warns NATO’s Stoltenberg

21 January 2022, 03:08 PM

NATO members are united in their resolve that Russia should pay a “high price” for any further aggression against Ukraine, the defensive alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told U.S. television news channel CNN on Jan. 20. 

Stoltenberg also told CNN that NATO members were ready to step up their support for Ukraine and impose sanctions on Russia should an invasion start. Apart from that, NATO was also considering increased deployments of troops in Eastern Europe.

Among other things, Stoltenberg said that NATO support provided to Ukraine would “increase the cost for Russia” but he did not elaborate further.

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 While reiterating that Russia would have to pay a heavy price for any type of aggressive actions against Ukraine, Stoltenberg said that NATO had again extended an invitation to Russia “to sit down and talk” in order to find a diplomatic solution to the tensions on Ukraine’s border.

Currently, over 100,000 Russian troops are estimated to be deployed on the Russian-Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, reports Ukrainian intelligence.

Fears of a renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine began in late October, when Russian troops began building up on the Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories.

While Russia has denied plans to invade, it has also refused to provide assurances that it would not do so, instead issuing so-called “security guarantees” to the United States and NATO.

The situation on Ukraine's eastern border is a matter of deep concern for both U.S. and European Union officials. According to U.S. President Joe Biden, the White House is looking at a range of options to dissuade Russia from a potential attack on Ukraine.

Options such as cutting Russia off from the international bank messaging system SWIFT, personal sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia have all been proposed as possible sanctions measures.

In early December, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Russian aggression towards Ukraine could intensify in late January 2022. Russian military units have been deploying in Belarus, north of Ukraine, as part of a previously unscheduled ‘military exercise.’

However, many of these deployments are located well outside the announced range of the reported exercises.

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