Russia to pull troops back from near Ukraine
After weeks of tension over a build-up of Russian troops close to
Ukraine’s border, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has
ordered a number of units in the area back to their bases.
The EU estimated that more than 100,000 Russian soldiers had
amassed near the border as well as in Crimea, which was seized
and annexed by Russia in 2014.
Speaking in Crimea, Mr Shoigu said units on exercise would return to base.
The aims of the “snap checks” had been achieved, he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who earlier challenged
Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet him in the conflict zone,
welcomed the decision to “de-escalate” tensions at the border.
President Zelensky raised the troop build-up with European leaders last week.
Nato leaders also sounded the alarm and called a summit in
June when Russia will be high on the agenda.
Although Russia has shrugged off the build-up as training exercises in
response to “threatening” actions from Nato, it is also said to be
planning to cordon off areas of the Black Sea to foreign shipping.
Ukraine fears its ports could be affected.