A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman rejected NATO accusations that Moscow has amassed 20,000 combat troops on Ukraine’s border.
Moscow sees the timing of General Rasmussen’s visit to Kiev, and his promise of support for Ukraine, as interference, if not a provocation.
Meanwhile, another kind of war, one in which the weapon of choice is sanctions has been escalating between Russia and the West. Russia introduced a year-long ban on food imports from the U.S., Canada, Australia and EU countries that support the sanctions.
Among the items banned: meat, fish and poultry products as well as cheese, milk, fruits and vegetables.
Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by the Russian pollster Public Opinion Foundation, or FOM, shows that only 9 percent of Russians feel the sanctions are negatively affecting them. Some 42% said the restrictions are affecting the Russian economy. Only 13 percent of them think the impact is strong, while 29 percent of respondents say the influence is rather mild.
The Russian government said it may consider further sanctions in aviation, construction and shipbuilding, stress they will be carefully designed not to hurt domestic companies and consumers. However, if the European partners show a constructive approach, Moscow suggested it may review the duration of the new import bans. CCTV America’s Daria Bondarchuk reports from Moscow.
For a closer look at the implications of Russia’s troop movements on the Ukraine border and NATO’s current and future potential role in the region. Jorge Benitez joins CCTV America. Benitez is the director of NATO Source.