Ukraine has invited NATO to conduct joint military exercises and patrols of Ukrainian airspace, stated the deputy head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Roman Mashovets, at a meeting with the Head of the NATO Representation to Ukraine, Alexander Vinnikov.
According to the press service of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, the parties, discussed escalation of the situation in the Donbas and possible ways of joint response to the buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border.
Mashovets noted that the joint exercises of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with NATO and, possibly, joint air patrols with NATO aircraft in Ukrainian airspace, will help stabilize the security situation in the region.
The deputy head of the Presidential Office also stressed the importance of the political response from the NATO leadership to such actions of Russia.
In his turn, Vinnikov expressed condolences for the losses suffered by Ukraine in recent weeks in the Donbas. He also said that all information about the security situation in eastern Ukraine and on the border with Russia will be passed on to NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ruslan Khomchak, said that Russia is increasing the number of its troops near the border with Ukraine.
Due to the buildup of Russian troops near Donbas, the U.S. European Command has raised the watch level to the maximum ("potential inevitable crisis").
Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russia is preparing to send troops to Ukraine.