MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. The Kremlin is not ready to and will not consider complaints, including from the US, on how Russia deploys its armed forces on its own soil, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
"First of all, we are not ready to and we won’t consider complaints with regards to how we move the armed forces on the territory of our country. This is our sovereign right and we don’t intend to discuss it with anyone," the Kremlin official said in response to a request to comment on information that Russia allegedly continues to send its troops to the border with Ukraine.
He reiterated that earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin that "certain phases of drills in regions adjacent to the border with Ukraine, in Crimea, are nearing completion." Putin’s press secretary explained that as those phases of the exercise are being completed, the units begin to return to their permanent military bases and this process had already started. "This is a prolonged process. It is clear that the contingent for the drills, for the exercise was formed over many weeks, and, of course, it is impossible to withdraw it in one day. They cannot simply go up in the air and fly away all at once," the spokesman said, reiterating that this process takes time and the Defense Ministry has a precise schedule for returning the units to their bases.
"So, in this case, these are, as always, absolutely groundless accusations," the spokesman concluded.