Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg has called on Russia to be transparent in its hostilities, as well as prevent escalation and reduce tensions around Ukraine.
He made the corresponding statement in Brussels on Monday after a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Stoltenberg said that in recent weeks, they had seen "large and unusual concentrations of Russian forces close to Ukraine's borders similar to Russia's build-up in Crimea and the Black Sea region earlier this year.
"NATO remains vigilant. We are monitoring the situation very closely. And we continue to consult among Allies and with partners such as Ukraine and the European Union. Any further provocation or aggressive actions by Russia would be of serious concern. We call on Russia to be transparent about its military activities. It is important to prevent escalations and reduce tensions. NATO stands with Ukraine," Stoltenberg stated.
NATO Secretary General stressed that the Alliance does not, and will not, accept Russia's illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea.
"We call on Russia to end its support for militants in Donbas. All NATO Allies are united in their condemnation of Russia's behavior," he added.
Stoltenberg also noted that NATO and allies continue to provide significant political and practical support to Ukraine.
"We are helping to strengthen your capabilities, including with training for your armed forces. And we support your wide-ranging reform agenda, which will help advance Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations. NATO's support to Ukraine is not a threat to Russia," stated the secretary general, pointing out that the exercises of NATO and allies in the Black Sea region are both defensive in nature and transparent in nature.