‘It never happened!’ BBC reporter puts NATO chief on spot over ‘wrong’ Russia predictions

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg insisted the group still lacked “clarity and certainty” on whether Russia will seek to stage an invasion against Ukraine. Intelligence had previously suggested Moscow could have sought to launch an incursion into Ukrainian territory on Wednesday, but no attack took place. Russia instead claimed to have removed some troops from the border, a move which sparked a BBC reporter to question NATO’s forecasts.

He said: “You’ve accused Russia of disinformation.

“I just wonder whether they could make the same charges at the NATO alliance.

“There were predictions, for example, there might be an invasion on the 16th, which never happened. Russia’s always said it’s not intending to invade Ukraine, except they have more than 100,000 troops.

“Also, you’re saying you’re not clear how many troops there are – are there 100,000? More than 100,000? 120,000? 170,000?”

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He continued: “So I just wonder is there a danger of accusing Russia of disinformation, they could just turn to you and say, ‘you’ve put out disinformation about coups that haven’t happened, about false flags operations that haven’t happened.

“How would you respond to that?”

Mr Stoltenberg said: “Partly to just referring to what we have described – our facts on the ground.

“Of course, we have shared intelligence, we have shared information we have collected but this is also information which is available for everyone.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly said Russia will send a reply to the United States on the issue of security guarantees on Thursday.

Russia will share their letter publicly after handing it over Washington.

Russia has demanded that Ukraine not be allowed to join NATO, something that Washington and Brussels have so far refused to promise.

United States ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan visited the foreign ministry building hours later and left shortly afterwards without talking to the press.

The diplomatic exchange took place as tensions not seen since the end of the Cold War emerged following Moscow massed over 100,000 troops close to Ukraine’s borders, although it says that it has no plans to invade its neighbour and some troops are already leaving after completing their drills.

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