The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) called for a de-escalation of Russia’s military buildup along Ukraine’s eastern borders on Thursday, promising to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity while also offering Russia the chance to negotiate.
“We call on Russia to return to diplomacy, to de-escalate, and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Brussels.
“Any further aggression against Ukraine will result in serious consequences and a high price,” Stoltenberg warned.
“We do believe that the diplomatic format negotiation will win,” Zelenskyy said of a peaceful solution.
Some EU leaders, who gathered on Thursday for their final summit of the year, echoed the call.
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, has called for an open dialogue between all parties involved. According to him, the EU should extend an invitation to Moscow in order to try to de-escalate tensions through dialogue.
EU leaders are also debating and planning possible sanctions against Russia if it refuses to reduce its military presence along the Ukrainian border.
“Any aggressive action will have a higher political and economic cost,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stated.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized the importance of immediately starting talks on clear, internationally legal agreements to stop NATO’s further eastward expansion and the deployment of weapons in Russia’s neighbors, particularly Ukraine.