NATO's top military commander expressed concern Sunday about the buildup of Russian forces on Ukraine's border, as Moscow's forces consolidated their control of Crimea over the weekend.
Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Philip Breedlove said Russia had a large force on Ukraine's eastern border and that he was worried it could pose a threat to Moldova's separatist Trans-Dniester region.
"The (Russian) force that is at the Ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizable and very, very ready," Breedlove, a U.S. Air Force general, said.
"There is absolutely sufficient force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to run to Trans-Dniester if the decision was made to do that, and that is very worrisome."
Russia said its forces complied with international agreements. Moscow annexed Crimea following a controversial snap referendum in the autonomous region last week that produced an overwhelming majority of votes in favor of leaving Ukraine to join Russia.
"Russia is acting much more like an adversary than a partner," Breedlove said, speaking at an event held in Brussels, Belgium, by the German Marshall Fund think tank.
Other officials expressed concern too.
"It's deeply concerning to see the Russian troop buildup along the border. It creates the potential for incidents, for instability," Tony Blinken, White House deputy national security adviser, told CNN's "State of the Union."
"It's likely that what they are trying to do is intimidate the Ukrainians. It's possible that they are preparing to move in."
23 March 2014
NATO concerned over Russian army buildup on Ukraine border - CNN.com
Posted by Brant at 18:42