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NATO chief sees withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian border

May 22, 2014, 17:55 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
“Late yesterday (on Wednesday), we have seen limited Russian troop activity in the vicinity of the border with Ukraine,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says
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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

© EPA/NICOLAS BOUVY

BRUSSELS, May 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia has possibly started the withdrawal of its troops from the Ukrainian border, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement, released by NATO press service on Thursday.

“Late yesterday (on Wednesday), we have seen limited Russian troop activity in the vicinity of the border with Ukraine that may suggest that some of these forces are preparing to withdraw. It is too early to say what this means, but I hope this is the start of a full and genuine withdrawal,” he said.

A meeting of the chiefs of the general staffs of 28 NATO member states was drawing to a close in Brussels on Thursday. One of the issues discussed at the meeting was the situation in Ukraine. The Alliance monitors the Russian troops by satellite data. NATO has for the first time released a statement on the possible beginning of the Russian troops’ withdrawal. Previously, starting from early March, NATO was making daily statements to the effect that it had not seen the signs of withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian border.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on May 8 even had to advise “the blind to get familiarised with the Russian president’s statement, dated May 7.” Rasmussen on that day had promised that if he gets the evidence of the withdrawal of Russian troops, he would be the first to express happiness on that matter.

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