US should stay out of Ukraine, says Russia as tensions continue to mount

Russia must immediately stop building troops on the border with Ukraine and withdraw from Eastern Ukraine, NATO chief Stoltenberg said after a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Koeleba. The NATO chief spoke of the largest Russian military presence on the border since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

According to Ukraine, the Kremlin is trying to escalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine, including intimidation through troop building at the border and the use of propaganda through Russian channels in the country. Koeleba calls on the West to impose more sanctions against Russia and to provide military aid.

That Russian buildup is taking place not only along the border of Ukraine, but along the border of the democratic world. This is the struggle that is taking place between democracies and authoritarianism.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister.

Ukraine would like to join NATO, but according to the United States, the country is not ready for that yet, as Kyiv must first implement a number of important reforms. Territorial stability is also usually a prerequisite for membership of the military alliance.

According to NATO chief Stoltenberg, Russia is trying to disrupt the accession process by stirring up the conflict in eastern Ukraine

"It is up to the thirty NATO member states to decide on Ukraine's accession, and no one else," said the Norwegian.

Moscow, meanwhile, called on the US to stay out of the region, because its military presence would turn Ukraine into a dangerous 'powder keg'. At the moment the US Navy has warships in the Black Sea.

In a separate development, US Secretary of Defence Austin has announced that he would end the withdrawal of US military personnel from Germany, which was initiated under former President Trump.

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