The world must judge Russia with its own eyes as to whether it is de-escalating, the defence secretary said as he warned an invasion of Ukraine is still possible.
Ben Wallace told Sky News: “I can also tell you judge with your own eyes at the scale of that Russian deployment on the borders of Ukraine and indeed all the press conferences held by President Putin.
“It’s pretty clear that their intentions towards Ukraine is to change their behaviour and indeed change NATO’s relationship towards Ukraine and they’re doing so with the threat of invasion.”
The defence secretary, who is in Brussels for a NATO meeting, added that although Moscow has said it is sending some troops back to their bases, when he was a soldier if troops were setting up blood banks and field hospitals that was not a sign of de-escalation.
He added that the Russians have 60% of their entire land combat power on the border with Ukraine and a “significant flotilla” at sea, meaning Ukraine is “fairly surrounded” by a “fairly large force”.