© 2020 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
World

NATO Chief: No Sign Russian Troops Leaving Ukraine Border

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen looks on at the start of a NATO foreign ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen looks on at the start of a NATO foreign ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly promised that the Kremlin would withdraw some troops from near the border with Ukraine, the head of NATO says he's seen no movement as yet.

As we reported, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said on Monday that Putin had told her of the impending troop movement, which seemed designed to ratchet down tensions in the region after Russia's annexation of Crimea last month.

"Unfortunately, I cannot confirm that Russia is withdrawing its troops," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters. "This is not what we're seeing."

Rasmussen's comments, made in Brussels at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, came as Merkel herself said Tuesday that Putin's promise is only a start, in any case, and would not satisfy the West.

"It is clearly not the last step that needs to be taken because the troop concentration on the Ukrainian border is very high," Merkel told reporters during a news conference, according to Reuters.

Also on Tuesday, Russia's foreign ministry reiterated warnings to Kiev not to make any moves toward joining NATO, saying that past attempts to do so only "led to a freezing of Russian-Ukrainian political contacts, a headache between NATO and Russia and ... to a division in Ukrainian society," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

We Need Your Help Now More Than Ever

WFAE mask

Our newsroom is hard at work covering everything from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to the aftermath of the election, the race for a vaccine and our communities' fight to rebuild. But we can't do it without you. Support our local journalism with a donation of ANY amount, and we’ll send you a free WFAE member mask courtesy of AllDayMask.com of Monroe.