Russia has announced the end of military exercises in Moscow-annexed Crimea, as the deployment of troops raised fears of an invasion of Ukraine. The Ministry of Defense announced, in a statement, that the soldiers are returning to their garrisons: This news comes in the wake of the first withdrawal of Russian troops from the borders of Ukraine yesterday, February 15. “Units of the Southern Military District that have completed tactical exercises are at the bases of Crimea and will return by train to their base,” Russian agencies quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying. Russia did not specify the extent or timing of this withdrawal. Scheduled to expire on February 20.
The Ministry of Defense also published a video clip showing tanks and military vehicles withdrawing from Crimea as evidence that the exercises had ended. Stocks catch up with this truce and close Tokyo at +2.2%.
In the past few hours, Biden said that despite the announced withdrawal from Moscow, there are still 150,000 Russian soldiers gathered on the border with Ukraine.
Same objection to NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. Today, from Brussels, he says: “Russia retains the ability to invade without warning.” NATO did not notice any visible signs of de-escalation on the ground, and in fact, Russian forces “increased, not decreased.” “We are closely watching what is happening,” he added. At the same time, we note Moscow’s openness to diplomatic dialogue and are ready to do so. But we are still waiting for Russia’s reaction to our written responses sent on January 26.”
Even Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand, on the sidelines of the NATO defense ministers meeting that begins today in Brussels, said: “We want to see evidence of the withdrawal of Russian forces” from the border with Ukraine. “We continue to observe all conditions and remain committed to Ukraine’s stability.”
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