Russia-Ukraine tensions. Romania’s intelligence chief, foreign minister invited to Parliament to discuss Ukraine crisis


Romania’s parliament on Tuesday invited the country’s intelligence chief and the foreign minister for talks on the security situation on NATO’s eastern flank and the Black Sea amid tensions over the build-up of Russian forces around Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu and the director of the Romanian Intelligence Service Eduard Hellvig will outline the latest developments in a rapidly changing situation to lawmakers on Feb. 22.

In developments Tuesday:

Russia announced it was withdrawing some troops from Ukraine’s borders. It  said it was open to dialogue, as the West warned an invasion could happen this week.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said Feb. 15 would be remembered as the day „when Western war propaganda failed.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia’s announcement of a troop withdrawal gives grounds for optimism, but the alliance has yet to see real de-escalation.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also voiced caution saying “we believe what we see”.

“If a real withdrawal follows these statements, we will believe in the beginning of a real de-escalation,” he said.

Also Tuesday, Russia’s lower house of parliament voted on Tuesday to ask President Vladimir Putin to recognize the Russian-backed breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, as independent.

NATO chief warned Moscow against recognizing two self-declared regions in eastern Ukraine.

„If (this) happens, (it) will be a blatant violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty once again, because there is no doubt that Dontetsk and Luhansk are part of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders,” he said in Brussels.

The move, if approved by Putin, could further exacerbate tensions with the West over a Russian military buildup of an estimated 130,000 troops near the border with Ukraine.

Russia has steadfastly denied any such plans and has accused the West of creating a crisis with its hysteria.

NATO chief keeps up pressure on Russia as some troops withdraw from Ukraine border



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