NATO general concerned by increase of Russian troops in Crimea

NATO is concerned by Russian armed forces in Crimea, said Gen. Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations.

NATO is concerned by Russian armed forces in Crimea, said Gen. Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO Allied Command Operations.

We are very worried by the militarization of Crimea, the general told a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.

This concern hinges on two factors, he said. Firstly, the Russian armed forces continue holding the territory and could be used; secondly, the presence of a large amount of weapons, including cruise missiles, in Crimea could affect security in the Black Sea region, the U.S. general said.

He also recalled the March announcement by Russia's Defense Ministry that it could send nuclear weapons to Crimea.

We are very concerned and continue following this, Breedlove said.

He also aired NATO concerns over the creation of a military base of pro-Russian forces in the Donbas region.

The Russian armed forces remain in eastern Ukraine to train and equip, thus creating the so-called "backbone" to pro-Russian forces, Breedlove said.

Russian troops are helping local militants learn to use weapons brought in from Russia, he said.

All this is a subject of our concerns, Breedlove said.

Read more: Almost 40 percent citizens of Germany agree to recognize Crimea as Russia - poll


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