NATO says Putin's 'serious escalation' will not deter it from supporting Ukraine
NATO accused Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday of provoking "the most serious escalation" of the war in Ukraine since it began, but said he would not succeed in deterring the alliance from supporting Kyiv.
"We have the combination of the mobilisation in Russia, combined with the reckless, dangerous nuclear rhetoric, and then today's illegal annexation, or attempt to annex parts of Ukraine," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
"Together this is the most serious escalation of the conflict since the start and the aim of President Putin is to deter us from supporting Ukraine. But he will not succeed in that," he told a news conference.
He was speaking after Putin proclaimed Russia's annexation of a swathe of Ukraine at a Kremlin ceremony, promising Moscow would triumph in its "special military operation" against Kyiv even as some of his troops faced potential defeat.