Russia announces withdrawal of some troops

BREAKING: Russia announces withdrawal of some troops

News carried by the Interfax News Agency this morning contains comments from Russia Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov who announces the withdrawal of some troops from the border with the Ukraine.
The message says: “Units of the Southern and Western military districts that have completed their missions have already begun boarding rail and automobile transport and will begin relocating to their garrisons today. Separate units will march on foot as part of military convoys.
It continues saying: “A number of combat training exercises, including drills, have been conducted as planned. But some exercises are still ongoing.”
Then quotes from Konashenkov add: “The Russian Armed Forces are continuing a range of large-scale exercises for operational training of troops and forces. Practically all military districts, fleets and the Airborne Troops are taking part.
“Another large-scale exercise in the region, the joint Russian-Belarusian Union Resolve war games, is due to end on 20 February.”
It is not known exactly what number of troops are being withdrawn with the estimated numbers around 130,000 including a further 30,000 taking part in military exercises in Belarus.
World markets have reacted positively to the news however many western politicians have adopted a wait and see attitude, with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss telling LBC this morning: “The Russians have claimed that they have no plans for an invasion, but we will need to see a full scale removal of troops to show that is true.”
The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell has told the BBC that everyone has security concerns and: “in order to fulfil the concerns of everybody, the only way is sitting at the table and discussing.”
Addressing a key Russian concern, the possibility of Ukraine joining the NATO military alliance, Borrell says the country is not yet a member. He continues saying “It’s a possibility, but in practical terms today Ukraine is not a member of NATO.”
Today will provide a better clue as to the country’s intentions as the defence minister for Russia announces a troop withdrawal. What is clear however is that the issue is far from resolved.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]