Although Russia has announced the withdrawal of tank units, NATO doubts this. The Russian Foreign Minister speaks of a pipe dream of the West.
NATO still has no credible evidence of a withdrawal of Russian troops from the border area with Ukraine. "There are signals from Moscow that diplomacy could continue, but so far we have seen no signs of retreat or de-escalation," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the start of the second day of deliberations among allied defense ministers in Brussels.
Russia has recently again demonstrated its ability and willingness to use force to achieve its goals. "Unfortunately, I fear this is the new normal that we need to be prepared for," Stoltenberg said.
According to its own statements, Russia has begun withdrawing troops and armored units from the Ukrainian border. According to the Defense Ministry, several units involved in exercises in Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea are also expected to return to their locations. The ministry did not provide any information about the place of departure and destination.
|US Accuses Russia Of Increasing Troops|
However, the US government classifies the partial withdrawal of Russian troops as false information and instead assumes that the military presence will continue to expand. 7,000 more soldiers are said to have been transferred to the border. "There's what Russia says. And then there's what Russia does. And we haven't seen any withdrawal of the armed forces," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told MSNBC. Units can be observed moving towards the border and not away from it. The British secret service also got this impression.
Great Britain considers a crisis that Russia has extended for months to be possible. "We should have no illusions that Russia could stretch this out for weeks - if not months - in an unabashed ruse to undermine Ukraine and test Western unity," Foreign Minister Liz Truss wrote in the Daily newspaper telegraph.
Alleged battles in Luhansk
The West is extremely concerned about the Russian troop deployment. It is feared that the transfer of tens of thousands of soldiers could serve to prepare for war. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov again denied this.
|Putin's political and moral impertinence|
The whole situation "is developing in the minds, brains and media of the West, primarily in the US and Britain," the Russian politician said at a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Moscow. Stoltenberg is actively driving this.
According to the OSCE observers on site, fighting broke out again in eastern Ukraine. So-called pro-Russian separatists accused the Ukrainian government troops of violating the current ceasefire. Dozens of mortar shells were fired in the Luhansk region. The Ukrainian army, on the other hand, spoke of isolated violations by the other side. Independent representations were initially not available.
Since 2014, government troops have been fighting Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, not far from the Russian border. According to UN estimates, more than 14,000 people have already been killed. A peace plan from 2015 is not being implemented.
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