NATO chief, Jens Stoltenberg, turns down Russia's demand to deny Ukraine entry

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 11, 2021, 12:54 PM(IST)

Jens Stoltenberg turns down Russia's demand to deny Ukraine entry Photograph:( Others )

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Russia has been trying to create fears of a possible invasion as it has increased the number of troops near Ukraine's border

Speaking about NATO and Ukraine's relationship, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has rejected Russia's call asking the West to withdraw its invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance. 

At a joint news conference with Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Stoltenberg said, "NATO's relationship with Ukraine is going to be decided by the 30 NATO allies and Ukraine, no one else. We cannot accept that Russia is trying to re-establish a system where big powers like Russia have spheres of influence, where they can control or decide what other members can do."

Russia has been trying to create fears of a possible invasion as it has increased the number of troops near Ukraine's border.

Earlier, Russia's foreign ministry had said that NATO should do away with a 2008 declaration that opens door to Georgia and Ukraine. In a statement, it said, "In the fundamental interests of European security, it is necessary to officially disavow the decision of the 2008 NATO Bucharest summit that 'Ukraine and Georgia will become NATO members."

Also read | Ukraine-Russia tensions: Biden talks to Germany's Scholz as Kyiv leader looks for talks with Moscow

The tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been rising unabated. In the past few weeks, Russia has moved around 100,000 troops to Ukraine's border. 

As a response, US President Joe Biden recently claimed that he has warned his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that Moscow will be facing economic sanctions if Ukraine is attacked by his forces.

He claimed that he has made it very clear that Russia will be facing economic sanctions ‘like never before’ if Russian forces launch an attack on Ukraine. 

"I made it very clear if in fact he invades Ukraine there will be severe consequences, severe consequences — economic consequences like none he's ever seen or ever have been seen," Biden told reporters at the White House.

However, Russia says that the troops are marching towards the border as a defensive measure.

 "Russia has a peaceful foreign policy, but has the right to defend its security," Putin said at a news conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

"We cannot but be concerned about the prospect of Ukraine's possible admission to NATO, because this will undoubtedly be followed by the deployment of appropriate military contingents, bases and weapons that threaten us," he added. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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