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NATO, Russia spar as foreign ministers meet in Latvia

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg

NATO foreign ministers are meeting as Russia and the alliance continue to spar over reports of military activity along the Ukraine border.

The United States-headed group has been concerned by Moscow’s massing of troops at the frontier with Ukraine in recent weeks, the second such build-up this year.

Russia, meanwhile, has warned NATO against expanding its military infrastructure in Ukraine.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to brief his 29 NATO counterparts on Tuesday about the US intelligence picture on the alliance’s eastern flank and in Ukraine, which is an ally of the security alliance but not a NATO member.

Speaking to reporters in the Latvian capital Riga, Blinken described Russia’s recent military activity as “unusual” and warned any escalatory actions by Moscow would trigger “serious consequences”.

Earlier, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg labelled Moscow’s troop build-up as “unusual”, but said the alliance had no “clarity” yet regarding Moscow’s intentions.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said the expansion of NATO military infrastructure in Ukraine was a red line he hoped would not be crossed, and voiced concern about military drills being held near Russia’s borders.



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