In a joint press conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed that the Russian military operation in Ukraine united the NATO countries and provoked a collective European response, adding that it did not see large Russian forces on the borders of the alliance countries.
Today, Saturday, he stressed from the capital, Sofia, that NATO has agreed on the need to support the Ukrainian people in defending their homeland.
He also made it clear that NATO countries must coordinate with each other on a regular basis in order to avoid the widening of the conflict and to address all risks that could affect it.
“No forces at the borders of NATO”
However, he indicated that he did not see prove that Russia is amassing large forces on the borders of NATO countries, due to the interruption of the advance of its forces in Ukraine.
Furthermore, he described the Russian military operations as a “brute invasion”, which caused huge civilian casualties.
As for the entry of additional reinforcements, he indicated that there is currently no specific information on the movement of multiple forces by Moscow to Ukraine.
Regarding the issue of Vardena from Ukrainian lands, the US secretary thanked Bulgaria for hosting 8,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Strengthening of air defense
For his part, the Bulgarian Prime Minister affirmed his country’s intention to help the displaced, saying: “We have sent humanitarian and medical aid to the refugees.”
He also considered that this crisis is an indication of what Russian President Vladimir Putin may be planning to do, so Sofia has decided to strengthen her defense system, he said.
Austin had previously confirmed that Russian forces had not achieved their previously set goals on Ukrainian territory, indicating the steadfastness of Ukrainian forces in the conflict. He also saw that the Russians did not make good use of their intelligence and also suffered from many loopholes.
Interestingly, since the launch of the Russian military operation on February 24, the United States has been preparing to help Kiev, providing it with defensive weapons and allocating huge amounts of money to support it and help the displaced.
So have many European countries, which have supplied Ukraine with arms and humanitarian aid and have welcomed hundreds of thousands of people in flight from the country because of the fighting.
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