Weekly News Highlights: 2/14/2022 – 2/20/2022
Western Officials Dispute Russian Claim of Pullback From Ukraine Border
Russia's increasing military presence around the Russia-Ukraine border has been escalating tensions with the US. President Vladimir Putin stated that he is concerned about the prospect of Ukraine joining the Western NATO alliance and has been consequently putting pressure on the country. However, Russia recently claimed that it is pulling back troops from the Ukrainian border. Although this caused temporary relief and diminished the chance of a military confrontation, concerns quickly reappeared as the US reported that Russia's claim was a "lie" and that Russia has added more troops moving towards Ukraine's border. Meanwhile, Russia has maintained that it is removing military presence, even publicizing videos of armored vehicles being transported from Crimea to mainland Russia.
The Ukrainian government has "floated" the possibility holding a vote as to whether or not to join NATO, as a last resort to stop facing military pressure from Russia. The government is still deciding the best course of action, but holding this vote might end up occurring if the Russia-Ukraine conflict lasts longer.