NATO's top military commander warned today (March 23, 2014) that Russia could seek to expand its territorial conquest to new areas, just a day after Russian forces seized some of the final Ukrainian military installations in the contested Crimean Peninsula, the Washington Post website reports.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove -- the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe -- said Russia had assembled a huge force on Ukraine's eastern border that could pose a threat to Moldova's separatist Transnistria region.
"The Russian force that is at the Ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizeable and very, very ready," Breedlove said at an event sponsored by the German Marshall Fund.
Ukraine's east is also considered under threat. Ukrainian officials have been warning for weeks that Russia is trying to provoke a conflict there -- a charge that Russia denies. But Breedlove said that Russian ambitions extend well beyond Ukraine.