NATO asked to step up against Russian military presence near Ukraine by Polish president

UK is ‘entry key’ to NATO for Scotland says Chalmers

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Attending a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, during a visit to alliance headquarters in Brussels on Thursday, President Duda expressed his concerns regarding the possible invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. He said: “Caution and vigilance from NATO, which is responsible for the military security of the allies, is necessary.”

Conflict Intelligence Team, a respected collective of Russian investigative journalists, put out a report on Wednesday based on open-sourced data that showed the Russian military moving tanks to new locations close to the Ukrainian border.

The report said: “We agree with estimates by (foreign) intelligence that Russia would be ready for a possible operation against Ukraine’s government-controlled territories no earlier than the beginning of next year.”

President Duda asked NATO to strengthen the strategic surveillance of the region via a new air policing mission.

He also mentioned strengthening the observation surveillance and strengthening all NATO units along the eastern flank of the alliance.

The UK plans on sending tanks to the flank in a bid to support the NATO troops already there.

Mr Duda also said Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s hybrid attack on the EU should be seen as part of a package of destabilising aggression by Minsk and Moscow, along with a recent spike in gas prices and a reduction in supplies.

Lukashenko has been accused by several Western countries of weaponising migrants by encouraging them to travel to Belarus, then pushing them to cross illegally into the European Union via Poland.

President Duda said: “They have to be coordinated.

“It’s hard to assess it otherwise.”

NATO’s Secretary-General said he would address the issue during next week’s meeting with NATO foreign ministers in the Latvian capital of Riga.

He added: “We see a large and unusual concentration of forces, combined with aggressive rhetoric and disinformation from Moscow.

“So we call on Russia to be transparent, reduce tensions and de-escalate.

“NATO remains vigilant, and we continue to provide Ukraine with political and practical support.

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“This is not a threat to Russia and it helps Ukraine to defend itself from aggression.”

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently dismissed US media allegations of Moscow’s purported plans to invade Ukraine as part of efforts to discredit Russia.

He instead insisted troop movements on Russia’s own territory shouldn’t concern anyone.

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