All NATO members concerned about Russian forces buildup near Ukraine, demand de-escalation – Blinken
All NATO members are concerned about the buildup of the Russian military presence along the borders of Ukraine and demand de-escalation, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
"We also spent some time today talking about the deep concern that Allies share about Russia and its actions on the borders of Ukraine, the largest concentration of forces there since 2014. And what was striking to me was, in the North Atlantic Council meeting, listening to every single ally, all 30 of us, express those concerns and a determination to see Russia take steps to de-escalate the tensions that it is creating," Blinken said at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, following the North Atlantic Council videoconference with NATO foreign and defense ministers.
The secretary of state also drew attention to the continued attacks by Russian-led forces at the line of contact in eastern Ukraine.
"Meanwhile, Ukraine has demonstrated, I think, real restraint in the face – excuse me – of Russian provocations. So that is why we are focused on this. That is why the alliance is concerned and we are united in that concern," Blinken said.
At the same time, he said the United States would prefer a stable and predictable relationship with Russia, and that, in turn, requires open lines of communication to be very clear about our views, about our policies, about our objections to Russia's actions.