Russia is operationally ready to conduct a wide range of military operations in Ukraine and the Kremlin just needs to make the call, the head of Norway’s military intelligence service said Friday.
The Russians “have all they need to carry everything out, from a minor invasion in the east to minor attacks here and there in Ukraine, or a complete invasion, with, possibly, an occupation of all or parts of Ukraine”, vice admiral Nils Andreas Stensones said.
“Now, it is up to President Putin to choose if he wants to proceed or not”, he said.
Stensones made his remarks at the presentation of the Norwegian intelligence services’ annual threat assessment report.
According to him, Russia has “more than 150,000 combat troops” massed at the Ukraine border, along with the country’s “most advanced weapons” and all the necessary logistics.
“It’s very difficult to say if (an offensive) is likely or unlikely, because it is solely up to the Russian president to make the decision”, he said.
Western nations believe Russia is preparing an imminent invasion of Ukraine, though Moscow has denied it.
Conflict has been festering in eastern Ukraine since 2014 between Russian-backed separatists and Kyiv forces.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday warned again of the “real risk for a new armed conflict in Europe”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said a Russian invasion could come “any time”. – AFP.