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Russia is toughening its stance amid tensions in Ukraine

Russia is toughening its stance amid tensions in Ukraine

With tens of thousands of Russian troops stationed near Ukraine, the Kremlin has kept the US and its allies guessing about their future moves in the worst security crisis to erupt between Moscow and the West since the Cold War.

Amid fears of an imminent attack on Ukraine, Russia has further heightened its intent by announcing more military exercises in the region. It has also refused to rule out the possibility of military deployments in the Caribbean, and President Vladimir Putin has contacted opposition leaders in the West.

The military muscle flexion reflects the Kremlin's bold attempt to halt decades of NATO enlargement after the end of the Cold War. In talks with the United States, Russia demands legally binding guarantees that the alliance will not embrace Ukraine and other former Soviet countries, or place weapons there.

It also wants NATO to withdraw its forces from countries in Central and Eastern Europe that have joined the alliance since the 1990s.

Putin has described NATO membership for Ukraine and other countries, as well as the deployment of alliance weapons there, as a red line for Moscow, warning that he would order unspecified "military-technical measures" if the requirements are not met.

Source: AP

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