The US continues to monitor Russian troops near the borders of Ukraine

According to the Pentagon, it is still too early to judge whether the threat associated with a large-scale build-up of Russian troops has passed.

US authorities are not convinced that Russia has de-escalated the situation in Crimea and near the border with Ukraine after building up its military presence, as it says.

According to US officials, it is “too early” to say this with certainty.

The Pentagon said some Russian troops appeared to have been withdrawn, but the danger remained.

“We have seen a certain withdrawal of some forces from Ukraine,” Defense Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters, noting that the US military “will be watching this very closely.”

“It is too early to talk about this and to take at face value the Russian statements that what they called the exercises are now over, and they are pulling everyone back,” he added.

US and Western officials have repeatedly expressed concern about what they believe is the largest concentration of Russian troops since Moscow ordered the invasion of Crimea and the seizure of the peninsula in 2014.

European officials said last week that at the peak of the latest build-up, more than 100,000 Russian troops were within striking distance of Ukrainian territory.

On the other hand, the Russian authorities have consistently accused Ukraine of being a source of problems in the region.

On Monday, the Kremlin said that in a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian Leader Vladimir Putin focused on Kyiv’s “provocative actions” in eastern Ukraine.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday that the exercises involving troops near the border with Ukraine have ended, and the troops will return to their places of permanent deployment by May 1.

Later in the day, a NATO official told Voice of America that the alliance had considered the Russian announcement.

“Any steps to de-escalate on the part of Russia are of great importance and are long overdue,” he added.

The White House said Monday that the United States is trying to reduce the current tensions with Russia, which many Russian officials have described as the most serious since the Cold War.

“Our goal is to reduce the tension in the relationship,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, warned in a recent article that relations between Moscow and Washington have sunk to the level last reached during the Cold War.

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Author: Steve Cowan
Graduated From Princeton University. He has been at the Free Press since October 2014. Previously worked as a regional entertainment editor.
Function: Chief-Editor
Steve Cowan

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