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Blinken, NATO chief discuss 'shared concern' about Russia troop buildup near Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had a telephone call Thursday to discuss their “shared concern” about the Russian troop buildup near the Ukraine border, according to the State Department.

The two men also “discussed NATO’s dual-track approach to Russia, noting the Alliance remains ready for meaningful dialogue with Russia, while standing united to defend and protect Allies,” spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Blinken later said in a tweet that he and the NATO chief remain concerned about Russia’s military amassing near Ukraine.

“NATO remains open to dialogue and will continue to strive for peace, security, and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic area,” he wrote

Stoltenberg said last week that Russia’s “provocative” military buildup continued despite international pressure.

“We see no sign that this buildup is stopping or slowing down. On the contrary, it continues,” he told reporters following his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In 2014, Russia began to support separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government, a policy that it has maintained for the past seven years.

For the second time this year, Moscow reportedly concentrated military troops in and around Ukraine last month.

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