Russia has all the forces it needs on Ukraine's border if it were to decide to carry out an "incursion" into the country and it could achieve its objective in three to five days, NATO's top military commander said Wednesday.
Calling the situation on the border "incredibly concerning," U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove – who is both NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the head of the U.S. Military's European Command – said NATO had spotted signs of movement by a very small part of the Russian force overnight but there was no indication that it was returning to barracks.
NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have asked him to draw up by April 15 a package to reassure nervous NATO allies in eastern Europe that would include reinforcements by land, air and sea, he said in an interview with Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.
NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Russia on Tuesday in protest at its annexation of Crimea, and ordered military planners to draft measures to strengthen its defenses and reassure nervous Eastern European countries.
Foreign ministers from the 28-nation, U.S.-led alliance were meeting for the first time since the Russian occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region touched off the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.