Russia Announces ‘Partial Withdrawal’ of Troops Near Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that he decided to withdraw some troops from the Ukraine border and was prepared to re-enter negotiations with the U.S. and NATO.
The “partial withdrawal” marks the first sign of de-escalation since Russia began its military mobilization near Ukraine in late 2021, but Putin indicated the threat still remains.
When asked if troops will continue to withdraw or could ultimately invade Ukraine, Putin said that would depend on “the development of the situation locally” and the steps other parties take.
Putin said that “of course” he does not want war to break out in Europe, but that this is why it is so important that the U.S. and NATO accept Russia’s security demands.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that officials have not seen “any de-escalation on the ground” or any “signs of reduced Russian military presence on the borders of Ukraine,” adding that the alliance will continue “to follow closely what Russia is doing.”
“The signs coming from Moscow about willingness to engage with diplomatic efforts, that gives some reason for cautious optimism,” Stoltenberg said.