US warns Russia over troop build-up on Ukraine border saying its commitment to Kiev is ‘unwavering’

US ‘will condemn any Russian aggression’ against Ukraine, but no guarantee of military aid

John Bowden
Wednesday 10 November 2021 23:19
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The US is closely monitoring a build-up of military forces along Russia’s border with Ukraine and would strongly condemn any further aggression by Moscow against Ukraine’s territory, according to a top US official.

The assistant secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, Karen Donfried, made the comments on Wednesday to the Associated Press while explaining that the US had specifically conveyed its concerns to Russian diplomates at the highest levels as well.

"Any time we see unusual Russian military activity near Ukraine we make clear that any escalatory or aggressive action is of great concern to the United States," Ms Donfried told the AP.

“We're very clear that we support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and that our commitment to that has not changed and is unwavering and that we will continue to stand with Ukraine and we will condemn any Russian aggression against Ukraine in all its forms,” she continued.

The State Department inked the latest version of a years-old agreement for a strategic partnership with Ukraine’s government on Wednesday as well; Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed the agreement with Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba.

While the US and Ukraine have no formal defence agreement as the nation is not part of NATO, the document signed on Wednesday reaffirmed the US’ “unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea and extending to its territorial waters in the face of ongoing Russian aggression”.

Russian actions in the region, the agreement added, “threate[n] regional peace and stability and undermines the global rules-based order”.

Ukraine’s government under Volodymyr Zelensky has sought to join NATO and gain the official protection of the defence pact; earlier this year, NATO’s secretary-general stressed that the country needed to do more to battle corruption at home before joining the alliance.

“We have different building-integrity programs, which are very much about how to fight corruption as part of the reforms ... which Ukraine has already embarked on, but we need more. We need to do more with them to make sure they are fully implemented,” Jens Stoltenberg told the Defense Writers Group in June.

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