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NATO chief speaks of significant buildup of Russian troops on borders with Ukraine.

NATO has made it clear to Russia that it sees a significant Russian military buildup near Ukraine's borders and in the temporarily occupied Crimea, calling on Russia to halt escalation and reduce tensions.

This is according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who spoke in Berlin ahead of the NATO Talk Conference in Berlin on Friday, November 19, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

Without delving into the latest intelligence reports, Stoltenberg said the Alliance is closely monitoring the situation around Ukraine.

Read also: U.S. warns Russia: further aggression against Ukraine will see response

“What we see is once again a significant Russian military buildup. We see unusual concentration of forces, we see them close to the Ukrainian borders, but we also see them in Crimea, occupied Ukrainian territory, and therefore we call on Russia to be transparent on what they do, we call on Russia to de-escalate, to prevent escalation, and to reduce tensions," said the NATO Secretary General.

At the same time, he noted that such actions by Russia are part of a “pattern we have seen over several years, especially since 2014.”

Russia resorts to acts of aggression against its neighbors, interferes in the affairs of other countries, invests significant resources in its own military capabilities, including newly developed nuclear weapons systems, the NATO chief explained.

Not only does Russia have the capabilities, Stoltenberg said, “they also have the will to use that force against neighbors – against Ukraine, against Crimea as part of Ukraine, against Georgia, and they still have military forces in Moldova against the will of the government.”

Read also: Russia has de facto left Minsk format - Ukraine delegate to TCG

“So this is part of a pattern, and NATO has responded – partly by providing political and military support to Ukraine, including training and capacity building. And the Allies are also stepping up. Second, we are monitoring very closely what is going on there,” said Jens Stoltenberg.

He recalled that since Russia unleashed aggression against Ukraine in 2014, in direct response to such actions by Russia, NATO has implemented the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.

Following the decision of the NATO Warsaw Summit, multinational battle groups led by Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany were deployed in the eastern part of the Alliance in the Baltic countries and Poland. Allies have increased the number of high-readiness forces and tripled the NATO Response Force, which currently amounts to 45,000 troops. In addition, Allies have increased defense spending, launched air and sea policing in the Black and Baltic Seas, and taken other important measures.

Read also: Kuleba calls on NATO allies to assess Ukraine not through Russia’s prism

“So this is a clear message to Russia and any other potential adversary that we are there to defend and protect all NATO allies," said the NATO secretary general.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, citing a statement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense's Main Intelligence Directorate, as of early November 2021, a grouping of Russian troops totaling about 90,000 forces has been amassed near the Ukrainian border and in the territories temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation.

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