Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

NATO Should Put Troops In Ukraine On Rotational Basis To Deter Russia, Bolton Says.

WASHINGTON – The United States and other members of NATO should rotate troops through Ukraine to deter Russia from pursuing military action against its smaller neighbor, former national-security adviser John Bolton said.

Bolton, who served under then-President Donald Trump from 2018 to 2019, also said that the United States should send more lethal weapons to Ukraine amid growing concerns Russia could soon invade the country.

“We need … to make sure the costs are so high that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his advisers will find it unacceptable. I think that's the way to deter the military action that seems so imminent,” Bolton, an outspoken advocate of the use of American military power, told RFE/RL in an interview on December 6.

Russia has amassed more than 90,000 troops near its border with Ukraine for the second time this year, but this time around the concerns in the United States and Europe of a possible invasion are greater. Russia has denied it is planning military action against Ukraine.

A senior U.S. administration official said on December 6 the current Russian troop and weapon movements “are consistent” with a planned military escalation in Ukraine, though the official said it was still unclear if Putin has ordered an invasion.

U.S. President Joe Biden will speak with Putin on December 7 to discuss Russia’s troop buildup as well as other important bilateral issues.

The senior administration official said Washington “is not seeking” to make U.S. troop deployment to Ukraine “the focus of U.S. countermeasures” should Russia initiate military hostilities. The senior official declined to say under what circumstances U.S. troops could be sent to Ukraine.

The United States currently has several hundred military trainers stationed in western Ukraine while U.K. media reported last month that Britain has 600 troops ready to deploy to Ukraine should hostilities erupt.

Moldova Strategy

Russian aggression toward Ukraine has been building as Putin sees the country slowly slipping away from the Kremlin’s orbit, analysts say.

Ukraine continues to push ahead with plans to join the European Union and NATO, something the Kremlin has called a red line.

Bolton said Russian aggression against Ukraine is just part of Putin’s wider strategy for maintaining the Kremlin’s influence in Russia’s near abroad.

He said the Russian leader keeps “probing” the six former Soviet states in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus -- Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan -- that are not in the Western military alliance and that NATO has to end the ambiguity over their future.

Only the governments of Georgia and Ukraine have expressed clear interest in joining NATO. Moldova has neutrality written into its constitution, while Belarus and Armenia are members of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.

He said leaving any of six out of possible NATO membership is “basically saying to the Russians: ‘you can have suzerainty or even reannexation,’ which is something very, very dangerous.”

Russia uses so-called “frozen conflicts” in some of these nations, including Georgia and Moldova, to prevent those nations from moving forward with NATO membership.

Bolton said now is “the most favorable moment we've had in a long time” for NATO to end the frozen conflict in Moldova following the election of a West-leaning government.

Russia continues to back the Moldovan breakaway region of Transdniester, a sliver of land wedged between Moldova and Ukraine.

Bolton called Transdniester a “totally unnatural, artificial” republic that is on its “last legs” and said NATO members should threaten the breakaway region and Russia with economic sanctions to bring about an end to the standoff.

“I think economic pressure here is the way to go...to say we don't accept that Russia can create these frozen conflicts with this turmoil and uncertainty,” he said.

While not dismissing the difficulty of ending the frozen conflict in Moldova, Bolton said Russia’s hand was more vulnerable there than in the other five nations due to geographical distance.

“I'm confident we can make progress [on Moldova] and I think it's important that we try because that's one way of releasing [Russian] pressure on Ukraine,” he said.

With reporting by Oana Serafim and Ileana Breitenstein


Related news
More U.S. Military Weapons Arrive In Kyiv

More U.S. Military Weapons Arrive In Kyiv

Ukraine has received a new shipment of military aid from the United States, including Javelin anti-tank missiles and launchers. Speaking on the tarmac of the Boryspil International Airport near Kyiv on January 25, acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine...

Radio Free Europe

Biden To Meet With Qatari Leader Amid Energy Worries In Europe.

Biden To Meet With Qatari Leader Amid Energy Worries In Europe.

U.S. President Joe Biden will receive the ruler of Qatar at the White House on January 26, amid discussions between Washington and its European allies on how to meet Europe's energy needs if Russian supplies diminish in case Moscow invades Ukraine.

Radio Free Europe

Ukrainians preparing for possible invasion by Russia.

Ukrainians preparing for possible invasion by Russia.

The U.S. is telling families of diplomats at the embassy in Ukraine to leave the country as concerns rise about a possible Russian invasion. CBS News foreign correspondent Holly Williams reports from the capital, Kyiv, about how people there are p...

Sen. Sinema Censured By Arizona Democrats After Pro-Filibuster Vote

Sen. Sinema Censured By Arizona Democrats After Pro-Filibuster Vote

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema was censured by the Democratic party in her state after she voted against a filibuster rule change, effectively killing the Democrats’ voting rights bills in the Senate. NBC News’ Ali Vitali breaks explains the Arizo...

LIVE: Heidelberg shooting - German police seal off university crime scene.

LIVE: Heidelberg shooting - German police seal off university crime scene.

German police seal off parts of Heidelberg University after a student injured several people with a gun before turning the weapon on himself. The Sun newspaper brings you the latest breaking news videos and explainers from the UK and around the wo...

To Stream or Not to Stream? COVID Turns Film Industry Upside Down.

To Stream or Not to Stream? COVID Turns Film Industry Upside Down.

Marvel tentpoles rule the box office, but the success of new films debuting on streaming services is not as easily determined Originally published at -

Islamic State prison attack sparks violence in Hasakah as curfew introduced.

Islamic State prison attack sparks violence in Hasakah as curfew introduced.

A CURFEW has been announced for the north-eastern Syrian city of Hasakah as intense fighting between Islamic State (IS) fighters and Kurdish-led forces continued into its fourth day on Sunday, January 23. The Interior Board of the Autonomous Admin...

NATO sends ships, planes to eastern Europe as Ukraine conflict heats up - DW News.

NATO sends ships, planes to eastern Europe as Ukraine conflict heats up - DW News.

NATO allies have put forces on standby and sent ships and fighter jets to bolster Europe's eastern defences. The European Union says it is ready to impose "never-seen-before" economic sanctions if Russia invades. In Brussels, EU foreign ministers ...