Ukraine’s deputy prime minister visits NATO HQ twice in a fortnight

21 January 2022, 10:32 PM

Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, traveled to NATO’s HQ in Brussels on Jan. 20 – the second such visit in two weeks.

At NATO, Stefanishyna participated in a number of diplomatic meetings which focused on planning for ways to deter Russia from further invading Ukraine, along with bolstering the country’s capacity to repel such an invasion, the deputy PM tweeted.

“Besides the security situation, discussed with NATO partners very practical elements of our cooperation to make Ukraine stronger & more resilient. Strong Ukraine is key for European security,” she wrote.

Video of day

As per her Twitter post, Stefanishyna met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, Assistant Secretary General for Operations Thomas Goffus, and Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Patrick Turner.

The agenda for these meeting was to establish a national resilience system in Ukraine, prepare for the 2022 NATO summit in Madrid, and to affirm NATO support for reforms in Ukraine’s security and defense sectors, as well as the implementation of the Annual National Program, a yearly reform program.

The Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border was first widely reported in early December 2021, with several media outlets speculating that Russia might invade Ukraine with a force of 175,000 troops in early 2022.

The situation on Ukraine's eastern border is a matter of deep concern for both U.S. and EU 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.

Suggested measures include cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said that a further Russian offensive in Ukraine may occur in late January 2022.

The Kremlin denies gearing up for invasion, and has instead accused Ukraine of planning false flag operations, as well as of drawing up plans to use force to restore Kyiv’s control over territories lost since 2014.

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