US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned Russia that NATO will ‘defend every inch’ of its territory against a Russian attack as he condemned Moscow’s attack on a Ukrainian nuclear plant as ‘reckless’.
Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine has seen a build-up of NATO troops deployed across eastern Europe in an effort to further reinforce the region.
Thousands of troops, backed by air and naval support, have been sent to protect allies near Russia and Ukraine in response to Putin‘s decision to invade.
And today, Blinken said the military alliance will defend all its allies and territory against a Russian attack.
‘Ours is a defensive alliance. We seek no conflict. But if conflict comes to us we are ready for it and we will defend every inch of NATO territory,’ Blinken said, while condemning Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine.
The size of NATO battlegroups in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, once ruled from Moscow but now part of the European Union, are set to almost double from 3,400 troops at the start of the year to more than 6,000 in the near future.
In recent days, British troops have arrived in Estonia while Norwegian soldiers landed in Lithuania as they bolster NATO’s eastern flank amid fears Russia will not stop at Ukraine and invade the former Soviet states as well.
The US recently reinforced the region with some 5,000 additional troops deployed to Poland and Romania. Both NATO countries border Ukraine, which is not part of NATO.
Blinken also accused Russia of being ‘reckless’ after Putin’s troops attacked Europe’s largest nuclear power plant overnight, sparking a fire that raged for hours before emergency crews were eventually allowed to extinguish it as Russian soldiers seized the complex.
‘And overnight, we’ve also seen reports about the attack against a nuclear power plant,’ Blinken said.
‘This just demonstrates the recklessness of this was and the importance of ending it and the importance of Russia withdrawing all its troops and engaging in good faith in diplomatic efforts.’