Cautious optimism over Ukraine conflict, says NATO chief

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Stoltenberg says a real de-escalation would mean a substantial withdrawal of Russian troops and military equipment from the border areas with Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has said that it has not seen any sign of de-escalation on the ground from the Russian side with regard to Ukraine.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels, “We haven’t seen any de-escalation so far by Russia on the borders with Ukraine,” BBC reported.

But, he added, “signs” coming from Moscow about diplomatic efforts give “some reason for cautious optimism”.

Stoltenberg says a real de-escalation would mean a substantial withdrawal of Russian troops and military equipment from the border areas with Ukraine, the report said.

“Russia has amassed a fighting force in and around Ukraine, which is unprecedented since the Cold War. Everything is now in place for a new attack,” he said.

“But Russia still has time to step back from the brink, stop preparing for war and start working for a peaceful solution,” Stoltenberg added.

He added that there are signs from Moscow that diplomacy should continue. This gives grounds for cautious optimism. But so far we have not seen any sign of de-escalation on the ground from the Russian side,” BBC reported.

Stoltenberg spoke to reporters ahead of a two-day meeting of the alliance’s defence ministers in Brussels. He said they will address the need to further “increase our defencive posture”.

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