The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has held a news conference on Tuesday and said “so far we have not seen any de-escalation” as Russia has moved some troops back to their bases.
The NATO chief said they have “not seen any signs of reduced Russian military presence on the borders of Ukraine.
“But we will continue to monitor and follow closely what Russia is doing.”
Stoltenberg warned that Russia has everything in place to launch a full scale invasion on Ukraine.
He did say that there is grounds for “cautious optimism” as Moscow has given some hope of a diplomatic solution, but there are no signs Russia is retreating.
Stoltenberg told the news conference that there are signs that Russia is “interested in continuing with diplomatic efforts.”
He said that NATO will not compromise on their core principles as their key aim is to defend the sovereignty of Ukraine.
Stoltenberg said Russia sharing footage of troops appearing to withdraw is not a real de-escalation if Moscow is leaving their equipment behind.
The NATO chief said even if Russia removes their troops away from Ukraine border it would be easy for the troops to regroup as the military hardware remains in place.
“What we need to see is a significant and enduring withdrawal of forces, troops and the heavy equipment,” he said.
Russia still have 100 battalion tactical troops with 14 more battalions on the way to Ukraine border and has more than enough troops to mount a full scale incursion.
Truss said that a Russian attack will “not stop at Ukraine” which could lead to further conflicts with other countries and the stability of Europe is hanging in the balance.
Analysts are increasingly pessimistic that Russia is set to invade and warn this is now inevitable as the jigsaw is now falling into a clear picture.
On Monday The Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed “tactical bombers” to airfields very close to Ukraine border.
Russian “helicopters” are “taking up forward staging” near to the border which now suggests an invasion is now “imminent.”
Michael Kofman, the director of Russia Studies at the Center of Naval Analyses, tweeted: “Seeing the last main pieces of this buildup. 1st GTA generating more BTGs. Same for Airborne.
“Tactical bombers deploying to nearby airfields (Su-34s). Helicopters taking up forward staging. District lvl support assets pulling up to the border.”
Kofman added, “The proposed recognition of DNR/LNR to be reviewed by the Duma on February 14th looks like it may offer a basis for Russia to extend security guarantees, and militarily protect those considered to be Russian citizens living in the separatist regions.”