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Russia Says Troops Near Ukraine Will Return To Normal Positions In 3 To 4 Weeks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

A day after both the White House and NATO said they are still seeking to verify that Moscow has begun a troop and military assets reduction along the border with Ukraine, Russia has given further indications that it does intend to soon return its heightened deployment posture in the south back to normal. 

"Troops in western Russia may return to their usual positions in three to four weeks," Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov said in an interview an Irish public broadcaster, marking the first time that such a visible Russian official had indicated such.

Russia’s ambassador to Ireland, Yury Filatov, via Irish Times


 

Amb. Filatov gave the long ago published, scheduled date for the draw down of the exercises: "They will be over by February 20 and these troops will be withdrawn. You can check on that next week," he suggested. This after the West has accused the Kremlin of seeking to keep troops in Belarus long after the end of the major joint drills, has has included the deployment of long-range bombers and even S-400 missile systems. US administration officials had previously estimated Russia could have up to 30,000 troops currently in Belarus with an eye toward Ukraine. 

In the interview Filatov also went on the offensive, blasting Western officials who threaten Nord Stream 2 while also claiming Puitn is weaponizing energy as but "propaganda cliches". 

"Of course there is no sinister plan in Moscow to destabilize Europe, because we all live in Europe and we want a stable Europe. We have pretty good relations with European countries, including Ireland – and it is just ridiculous to suggest such a thing," the Russian ambassador spelled out. "As far as gas is concerned, over this winter we have been increasing gas supply to Europe over our contractual obligations. I don’t think you can describe that as using gas as a weapon," Filatov added.

He was pressed at one point where the troops currently near Ukraine will go to, to which he responded it's "nobody's business". He explained, "They will go exactly where they need to go. They are going in the Russian territory."

Days ago, the Russian Embassy in the UK issued the below cynical take on the situation and Washington diplomatic aims as follows…

Meanwhile…


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