Pentagon secretary Ash Carter will gather together twenty-four U.S. military leaders and ambassadors based in Europe to discuss strategic steps in opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The meeting comes as the Ukraine parliament adopts amendments allowing international armed forces inside its territory, including those potential carriers of nuclear weapons.
Carter gathers U.S. military leaders
Carter has called for a meeting with two dozen U.S. military leaders and European ambassadors in Stuttgart, at the headquarters of U.S. European Command. The meeting is set to take place on Friday and the sole agenda is to assess whether NATO’s strategy in Ukraine has been successful in deterring Russia and whether member countries still feel secure with the alliance.
“This meeting is intended to inform the secretary’s thinking as he heads into his first NATO ministerial in late June. One of the areas of focus will be Russia’s actions over the past 18 months, including their operations in Ukraine,” Pentagon spokesman Brent Colburn told Reuters.
“The … primary purpose is to assess and strategize on how the United States and key allies should think about heightened tensions with Russia over the past year,” another U.S. defense official told Reuters.
In his speech addressed to the U.S. Africa Command, Carter said that Russia’s behavior “has taken a sad turn recently.”
“It appears that Vladimir Putin is taking his country in a different direction. I don’t think that’s a good way for Russia. And at some point the Russian people will wake up to that, but they’re not showing a whole lot of sign of that right now,” Carter said.
Russia’s behavior is something that U.S. considers as it plans its strategic future, he said.
Ukrainian parliament allows foreign forces, including those carriers of nuclear weapons
The meeting set by Carter to take place on Friday coincided with a significant parliament event in Ukraine.
On Thursday, the Ukrainian parliament adopted amendments that allow international forces inside the territory of Ukraine. The amendments include welcoming forces that are potential carriers of weapons of mass destruction.
The law was adopted after it received a majority of 240 votes, RT reported. As soon as the law gets implemented, it “will create necessary conditions for deployment on the territory of Ukraine international peacekeeping and security” without the need for additional legal authorization.
International peacekeepers and security forces allowed inside Ukraine “should ensure an early normalization of situation, restore law and order and life, constitutional rights and freedom of citizens,” the law stated as translated by RT.
RT noted that the amended law contained a comparative table stating that “potential carriers of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction are permitted under international agreement with Ukraine for short-term accommodation.”
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