October 10, 2019 / 1:47 PM / 9 days ago

Kremlin to Ukraine: pull back troops before we discuss summit

FILE PHOTO: Russia's presidential aide Yuri Ushakov approaches the media after a meeting of President Vladimir Putin with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukraine must pull back its troops in the country’s restive east before there can be any talk of a fresh meeting between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said on Thursday.

“Ukraine has not yet started the practical implementation of the agreements ... on troop pullback in Zolotoye and Petrovskoye,” Ushakov told reporters, referring to the locations where both Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels have agreed to withdraw from the line of contact.

The Kiev government said this week the pullback was being delayed by continued shelling from the rebels’ side.

Reporting by Olesya Astakhov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Alison Williams

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