No sign of Russian troop pullback from Ukraine border: Pentagon

WASHINGTON Mon May 19, 2014 9:15am EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Monday it has not seen any indication of Russian troop movements away from Ukraine's borders despite a Kremlin announcement that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered them to return to their permanent bases.

"We have seen reports of President Putin's orders to withdraw Russian forces from the border with Ukraine. We've been clear about our call for the Russian military to work to de-escalate the tension there," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told Reuters.

"If those reports are valid, and if those orders are followed, such a withdrawal would be welcome. We have seen no indication of any movement."

Putin's office said he had issued the order because the spring maneuvers were over.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Bill Trott)

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Comments (1)
Calfri wrote:
Most likely it’s just a repeat of Russia’s earlier announcements they were pulling troops back; later, it was found out the pullback was either nonexistent or perfunctory. Putin wants to play on people’s hopes for something better, put his enemies off balance, making them wonder if more sanctions are appropriate or not given the latest announcements. Such announcements ought to be ignored, with more vigorous sanctions imposed already. If things really do change, sanctions could always be loosened sometime in the future, though at this point it seems unlikely Russia will give Crimea back to Ukraine.

May 19, 2014 11:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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