“We and our allies were able to prevent further escalation of Russia. We are in mid-February and we see that diplomacy is still going on,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Kuleba’s comments come a day after Russia left the door open for further talks with Western countries, with the aim of putting an end to a crisis caused by Moscow’s opposition to NATO expansion in eastern Europe, and the possibility of Ukraine joining the alliance.
And “AFP” quoted the Russian Ministry of Defense as saying that part of the forces deployed near the border with Ukraine, numbering more than 100,000, began returning to their barracks after completing military exercises.
Ukrainian officials have for weeks been questioning US intelligence reports that Russia is preparing for an imminent attack on its neighbor to the west.
However, Kuleba stressed that the level of tension was still high at the Ukrainian border, and that Russia still had to withdraw its remaining forces.
He said, “We have a rule: Do not believe what you hear, but what you see. When we see a withdrawal, we will believe that there has been a de-escalation.”
The deployment of nearly 100,000 troops in the vicinity of the former Soviet republic prompted warnings from European leaders and Washington of imposing tough economic sanctions if Russia escalated a separatist conflict in Ukraine by sending troops.
Leave a Reply