The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has said there is no sign that Russian forces are de-escalating near Ukraine, despite claims from Moscow that it is pulling some troops back from the border.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said moving troops and tanks back and forth did not amount to proof of a pullout.
“What we see is that they have increased the number of troops and more troops are on their way. So, so far, no de-escalation,” he said before an alliance meeting in Brussels.
He said Russia still had a huge force ready to attack Ukraine.
He warned that the threat from Russia had become a new normal, adding that the defensive alliance was considering strengthening its eastern flank.
But Russia later denied Mr. Stoltenberg’s assessment of the situation.
A Kremlin spokesman reiterated that some troops were being withdrawn following the completion of military drills.
Its defense ministry also published a video on Wednesday purporting to show tanks leaving Moscow-annexed Crimea.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said key Russian units were moving towards the border, not away.
“There’s what Russia says. And then there’s what Russia does. And we haven’t seen any pullback of its forces,” Blinken said in an interview on MSNBC.
“We continue to see critical units moving toward the border, not away from the border,” added Blinken.
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Edited by Jesus Chan
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