The US has warned its allies in Europe that Russia may well be planning an invasion of neighboring Ukraine as Moscow amasses forces on its western border, according to a report published Thursday.
US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and the Pentagon have said they are closely monitoring the military buildup, but Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration has gone a step further and officially warned EU allies of a potential Russian military offensive.
The outlet cited anonymous people familiar with the matter who also said the information the US assessment is based on had yet to be shared with Europe but is reportedly available to the public. Any collective response would need to be precipitated by the sharing of that intelligence, Bloomberg added.
“We’re concerned by reports of unusual Russian military activity near Ukraine,” Blinken said Wednesday. “We’re monitoring the region very closely. As we always do, we’ll continue to consult closely as well with allies and partners on this issue. And as we’ve made clear, any escalatory or aggressive actions would be of great concern to the United States.”
Earlier this month, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Russia has continued its military buildup near its border and has stationed 90,000 Russian troops, according to The Associated Press.
The Pentagon demanded on Wednesday that Moscow be transparent with the international community about its actions and intentions in the region.
Scoop: US is raising alarm with EU allies that Russia may be weighing an invasion of Ukraine, sources tell @AlbertoNardelli @nwadhams and me. Biden officials have discussed matter with counterparts, but apparently haven't fully shared intel assessmentshttps://t.co/Nmb0TQKj7K
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 11, 2021
Russia has maintained that any troop movements within its territory are an internal matter, Bloomberg reported.
The Kremlin’s actions are similar to those that began in March, when estimates put the number of Russian troops near the Ukraine border and within the Crimean Peninsula at around 100,000, along with a sizable buildup of military hardware.
Russia seized and occupied Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and remains the de facto authority there. Moscow also that year began to support separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government, a policy that it has maintained over the past seven years.
Its spring buildup led to concerns then of an imminent invasion of Ukraine, but Moscow drew down its forces beginning in April.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk