Kiev announced an extraordinary meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Commission. The European Commission also expressed concern about the situation in Donbas and the movements of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine.
“The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NATO members will discuss Russia’s tightening of the security situation along the Ukrainian-Russian border and in the temporarily occupied Crimea, as well as the Alliance’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Ukrainian diplomacy ministry said. A committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. On that day, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kułeba is also to meet with the Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kiev announced that the meeting was initiated by Kiev and would be held under article 15 of the Charter on a special partnership between NATO and Ukraine. As it was added, it provides for the possibility of using a crisis consultation mechanism when Ukraine sees a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence or security.
The article was last used in 2018, after Russia fired on three small Ukrainian navy vessels in the Black Sea. The attack came when the Ukrainians tried to sail from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait that connects them and is controlled by Russia. Three Ukrainian units were seized and 24 of their crew members arrested.
On April 6, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, talked to the secretary general of the North Atlantic Alliance about the aggravation of the situation in the east of the country. The head of the Ukrainian state emphasized that NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbas. He stressed that “the real signal” for Russia would be the receipt by Ukraine of the Membership Action Plan in NATO.
The concern and appeals of the European Commission
The European Commission on Monday expressed its concern about the situation in eastern Ukraine and the movements of Russian troops near the Russian-Ukrainian border. This topic is expected to appear during the next talks of EU foreign ministers.
At a conference in Brussels, EC spokesman Peter Stano said that all diplomatic efforts currently being made in the EU are aimed at avoiding an escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. – The European Union, the Member States and the EU institutions are following (the development of events) very closely and are seriously concerned about the deteriorating security situation in eastern Ukraine and the movements of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, also in the illegally annexed Crimea, he stressed.
An escalation of the conflict has been observed in the Donbas in recent days. According to the Ukrainian side, Russia is increasing the number of its troops on the border with Ukraine. Russia claims that the Ukrainian side is deliberately aggravating the situation on the demarcation line in eastern Ukraine.
Main photo source: PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / PAP / EPA