- According to its own statements, Russia continues its declared partial withdrawal of its forces after the end of the exercises.
- As announced by the Ministry of Defense, on Wednesday, several units from the exercises in the Crimea returned to their positions.
- Russia’s ambassador to the European Union also confirmed to the daily “Welt” that there would be no attack on Wednesday.
The state agency RIA Novosti published a video showing a train with tanks and other military vehicles on the Crimean bridge in the dark. This bridge extends from Crimea on the Black Sea, which Russia annexed in 2014, to the Russian mainland. The number of soldiers involved was not initially disclosed. The army is also permanently stationed on the peninsula.
Belarus also promised on Wednesday that all Russian soldiers stationed on its territory as part of large-scale military exercises will leave the country after the end of the exercises scheduled to end on February 20. “Not a single soldier, not a single piece of equipment will remain on Belarusian soil after the exercises with Russia,” Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei told a news conference.
As for Russia, I can assure you that there will be no attack on Wednesday.
The ministry had already announced a partial withdrawal of soldiers on Tuesday ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The West responded with caution. Other exercises, such as the exercises in Belarus, also continued.
The European Union calls on Russia to take escalation measures
European Council President Charles Michel said Russia should take “concrete and concrete measures” to defuse tensions in Ukraine, which “also threaten peace and security in Europe”.
“This is the precondition for an honest political dialogue, we cannot continue to try to do diplomacy on one side while the other side is amassing forces,” Michel warned in the full hall of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
According to the results of NATO, Russia continues to deploy its forces in the border area with Ukraine, contrary to its declarations. So far we have not seen any de-escalation at the site. On the contrary: it seems that Russia continues to build up its military,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday in Brussels on the sidelines of a meeting of defense ministers of the alliance countries. In response to Russian statements that troops and battle tanks were on the move, Stoltenberg said: “They were always moving troops back and forth.” It does not prove that there is a real decline.
The British government has also expressed reservations about the alleged troop withdrawals. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Radio Times that Britain does not yet have any evidence that Russia is withdrawing its forces from positions near the Ukrainian border. “The physical observations show the opposite of some of the recent statements from the Kremlin,” Wallace told the BBC.
There will be no attack
Meanwhile, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the European Union, vehemently rejected US warnings that Russian forces could invade neighboring Ukraine on Wednesday. “With regard to Russia, I can assure you that there will be no attack on Wednesday. There will be no escalation next week, either in the next week or in the next month,” Chisov told Die Welt newspaper on Wednesday. “Wars rarely start,” he added. in Europe on Wednesday.
The Russian news agency TASS, quoting the ambassador, stated that the presence of the armed forces would return to normal levels within three to four weeks.
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