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Russian troops not beefed up on border with Ukraine — presidential aide

June 20, 2014, 14:45 UTC+3

Moscow was surprised at statements about concentration of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine

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Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Druzhinin

MOSCOW, June 20./ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a telephone conversation with Hollande and Merkel that Russian troops were not beefed up on the border with Ukraine, only the contingent of border guards was being reinforced, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said.

“There is no exaggeration there, only some intensification of the border factor, because the situation on the border is alarming for us,” Ushakov said, noting that other troops “remain to be pulled back, as they had already been pulled back.”

President Vladimir Putin informed about this German and French leaders Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande at their conference call session, Ushakov added.

Moscow was surprised at statements about concentration of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to reinforce border guard a few weeks ago, the president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

"We are surprised at such statements about alleged concentration of Russian troops at the border with Ukraine. In this case, the question is not one of concentration of troops, but measures to strengthen guard of Russia's borders, measures taken on direct instructions from the Russian President Vladimir Putin," Peskov said.

The order was given earlier than in the past few days.

"It was given several weeks ago. It was reported earlier, and at the time it was positively taken by European leaders," the press secretary noted.

The measures were taken in connection with repeated cases of border violations, including by military vehicles, he said.

The number of troops is determined by needs to ensure security of the border, he added.

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