MOSCOW (WNI) — Russia has started withdrawing forces from Ukraine’s border according to Vladimir Putin and Russia's Defense Ministry.
The Kremlin confirmed that it would begin its drawdown of troops following exercises with Belarus that has concerned NATO and Ukraine.
With Russia also signalling its desire for a diplomatic path out of the current crisis, Western powers have so far maintained that the military situation remains the same.
In a statement released earlier today by NATO, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg noted that they had not yet seen any “de-escalation on the ground” however the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that some of its units have already begun to load equipment via rail and road to be transferred back to their military garrisons.
In a crucial meeting between Russia’s President Putin and Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two leaders put forward their positions, with Scholz raising his concerns regarding Russia’s large troop deployment, while Putin stated Russia had not received positive answers regarding its security demands from NATO or the U.S. However, Mr Putin said Moscow was ready for additional discussions with the U.S. and NATO, including talks on limiting missile deployments. Putin also stated that Russia was not looking for war and had put forward proposals to the German Chancellor for a new round of negotiations.
Western leaders remained skeptical about Russia’s real intentions, however the news of a military drawdown led to a rally on the Stock Market with the FTSE 100 rising 1%. The Dow was also up 1% by mid-afternoon Tuesday.