Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that he has not seen any sign of Russia withdrawing troops from the border.
On Tuesday the Russian Defence Ministry announced that some troops would be returning to base, after the completion of drills. Russia later released a video allegedly showing a convoy of military vehicles leaving the Crimean peninsula.
But western officials and NATO representatives have said that rather than a withdrawal, more Russian troops have appeared at the border.
“To be honest, we react to the reality we have, and we don’t see any withdrawal yet”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said:
“We have not seen any withdrawal of Russian forces. And of course, that contradicts the message of diplomatic efforts. 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.”
NATO is expected to send more troops and equipment to its eastern member-states in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Russia continues to insist that it has no intention to invade Ukraine.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, said, at a conference on Wednesday:
“Over the last few days, the US has been fanning the threat of war, artificially creating a tense atmosphere, which has dealt a serious blow to the economy, social stability and living conditions of the people of Ukraine.”
The statement from Wang comes a couple of weeks after Russia and China issued a joint statement that both countries “oppose the further expansion of NATO”.