Ukraine wants to prepare for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership, a restrained American response

President Zelensky

Ukrainian servicemen walk in a trench on the frontline with Russian-backed separatists, near the town of Zolote, in the Lugansk region, on April 8, 2021. Between a ceasefire being signed last July and the end of 2020, just four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the Donbass conflict.

In a phone call with Putin on Thursday, Germany's Merkel urged the Russian president to reduce Moscow's "troop reinforcements" on the border "to de-escalate tensions".

The KPU said that repeated scares over hypothetical Russian invasions had been raised by the Ukrainian authorities since 2014, but pointed out that neither Russia nor Ukraine had anything to gain from renewed fighting in the Donbass when both are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg react while entering a hall following their talks in Kiev, Ukraine October 31, 2019.

At a news conference, Kozak was asked if Russian Federation would protect its citizens in eastern Ukraine.

"All commanders understand that snipers are targeting our guys", Zelensky said.

He said 26 Ukrainian troops had been killed since the start of the year, compared to 50 in all of 2020.

Though Ukraine doesn't meet NATO's membership standards as of yet, the United States has expressed its support for Kyiv's ongoing efforts to carry out the necessary reforms. Moscow has repeatedly denied those claims.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskiy flew into Donbass today in a new show of strength as he shook hands with soldiers along the frontier which separates them from Russian-backed rebels.

Kiev's Western allies have repeatedly warned Russian Federation against taking further action and seeking explanations for its troop build-up on Ukraine's border.

He said that this, "together with the forces already deployed near the border of Ukraine, poses a threat to the military security of the state".

Lithuania will propose to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to provide a membership action plan to Ukraine, and the country could become an Alliance member once it is implemented, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis says.

The United States and European Union are watching reports of Russian troop movements on Ukraine's border with increasing concern.

She added that Moscow was concerned about "financial and logistical support of the Ukrainian armed forces by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries", as well as the alliance supplying lethal weapons and Western instructors training Ukrainian military personnel. If there is, as our president says, Srebrenica, apparently we will have to step in to defend (them)'. But it was the first time that the Biden administration has given a description of the scale of the buildup.



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