NATO said they do not see any sign Russia President Vladimir Putin pulled back troops from Ukraine’s border. In reaction they will move more forces to Eastern Europe.
There is no consensus on the amount of troops on Ukraine’s border. Anonymous sources told FOX News anywhere from 30,000-100,000. But the nations that actually fear a Russian invasion will not put the number higher than 30,000. These troops have engaged in military exercises and Moscow claims it is to familiarize the soldiers with unfamiliar land. Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov say there is no intention to invade east Ukraine or any other country.
NATO countries Latvia and Estonia are worried they are Putin’s next target. On March 9, Russia’s ambassador to Latvia said Moscow is ready to grant citizenship to ethnic Russians in the country. A few weeks later, a Russian diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council Moscow is concerned over the treatment of Russian speakers in Estonia. Lavrov’s interview with Russian media on Sunday did little to ease the tensions. He said “Moscow wanted greater autonomy for southern and eastern parts of Ukraine where many ethnic Russians live.”
These countries are uneasy because Russia used these excuses to justify their actions in Crimea. Putin officially annexed Crimea from Ukraine on March 21. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but NATO will help Ukraine’s army with training and exercises.
The US sent more military equipment in Poland and took part in more exercises with the Polish air force. However, the Polish government is not happy with NATO’s slow movement.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday that the pace at which NATO was increasing its military presence in Poland was unsatisfactory.
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who said earlier he would be satisfied if NATO located two heavy brigades in Poland, said on arrival at the NATO meeting that he would welcome any NATO forces being stationed there.
An anonymous source told Reuters the troops on Ukraine’s borders is only between 35,000-45,000 and are not a threat to NATO countries.