Russia Covers up Ukraine Invasion w/ Peace-keeping Mission - NATO; Russia Retaliates Against MH17 Downing Sanction
By Athena Yenko | August 7, 2014 2:09 PM EST
Russia's President Vladimir Putin talks to reporters during a meeting in Brasilia July 16, 2014. Putin warned on Wednesday that U.S. sanctions will take relations with Russia to a "dead end" and damage U.S. business interests in his country. Picture taken July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
On Wednesday, NATO said that Russia might be using its humanitarian or peace-keeping mission as a cover up of its invasion of Ukraine as Russia deploys a total of 20,000 armed troops on Ukraine's eastern border.
Russia had drastically increased the number of its tanks, infantry, artillery, air defence systems, logistic troops, special forces, and aircrafts, a NATO official revealed.
The increase in number of Russian troops had further increased the Ukraine conflict to "a dangerous situation."
"We're not going to guess what's on Russia's mind, but we can see what Russia is doing on the ground - and that is of great concern. Russia has amassed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's eastern border," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in an emailed statement obtained by Reuters.
Lungescu highlighted that NATO was concerned that Russia could use "the pretext of a humanitarian or peace-keeping mission as an excuse to send troops into Eastern Ukraine."
Russia had consistently denied accusations that it was supporting Ukraine rebels with weaponries to fight authorities. What the Russia had announced was a new military exercise happening this week near the Ukrainian border.
However, European Union and the United States were equally consistent with their accusations and had in fact imposed tougher sanctions against Russia.
The clashes in Ukraine had worsened radically after the downing of flight MH17 after the Western countries alleged that the plane was downed by a missile supplied by the Russians.
As a way of retaliation, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev threatened to reroute or ban European flights to Asia over Siberia.
"We should discuss possible retaliation," Medvedev said at a meeting with the Russian transport minister and a deputy chief executive of national airline, Aeroflot.
The ban, if imposed, would have European and US carriers spending more on fuel to fly the longer routes.
Also on Wednesday, Russia's president Vladimir Putin approved a decree banning all food and agricultural produce from European and US countries. The list of specific produce that will be banned from entering Russia is still being worked out. The decree, according to Mr Putin, is Russia's special economic measure "aimed at ensuring the security of the Russian Federation."
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