UPDATED 10:29 AM PT – Thursday, January 13, 2022
Joe Biden’s envoy to NATO is calling on Russia to move forward with the de-escalation of its forces on the Ukrainian border. On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Julianne Smith said that she expects Russia to pull back their forces positioned at the border and come into compliance with the Minsk agreements.
The 2014 agreement was aimed at ending fighting in Eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatist and the Ukrainian government. Smith warned that if Russia does not comply and pursues further confrontation then there will be serious consequences.
At today’s @NATO-Ukraine Commission, Allies met with 🇺🇦’s Deputy PM @StefanishynaO and reiterated our full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.
As @POTUS affirmed, we are committed to the principle of “nothing about you without you.” pic.twitter.com/QjmVcFOxee
— Ambassador Julianne Smith (@USAmbNATO) January 10, 2022
“The forces that Russia has arrayed around Ukraine are of a type and of a size that indicate a capability for significant military conflict started by Russia,” explained Ivo Daalder, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO. “A 100,000 troops that can quickly be supplemented by another 75,000 troops…I think we are very close to a military confrontation…one way or the other.”
Experts believe a military confrontation may still arise. This comes as Russia and NATO convened this week to discuss resolutions to the ongoing conflict.