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Russia says some troops returning to base from Ukraine border

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On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin received Germany’s chancellor, signaling that diplomacy may yet prevent what Western officials have described as an impending invasion of Ukraine.

Russia said that some units participating in military drills will begin returning to their bases, another apparent indication that the Kremlin would prefer to cool the temperature produced by the buildup of soldiers near Ukraine’s border.

The military ministry released video footage of tanks and other armored vehicles being loaded into railway flatcars.

According to the Interfax Ukraine news agency, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that Kyiv will “believe in de-escalation” only once Russia withdraws.

Russia has gathered over 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borderlands, amid fears of an attack, especially since Moscow’s joint maneuvers with Belarus from February 10-20 mean that Ukraine is nearly ringed by the Russian military.

Russian investors reacted favorably to the news, which had been under stress because to worries of increased Western sanctions in the case of a war, climbed 1.5 percent soon after the defiance ministry release.

Despite Moscow’s denial that it ever planned to attack Ukraine, it has requested legally enforceable guarantees from the US and NATO that Kyiv would not be permitted to join the military alliance. So yet, Washington and Brussels have declined to make such commitments.

However, Russia’s lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma, voted on Tuesday to request that Putin recognize two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as autonomous. Since 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine’s Crimea, Moscow has backed pro-Russia separatist forces in a battle that has cost 14,000 lives.

According to Kyiv, such a move would essentially bury efforts to find a long-term solution to the ongoing war, which some foreign observers regard as a viable way out of the current crisis. You can also read more about Peter Thiel.

However, Tuesday’s developments came on the heels of other indications from Moscow that there may still be hope for a diplomatic settlement to the months-long dispute.

On Monday, Foreign Affairs minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Russia was willing to continue discussions with Washington and NATO regarding its demands at the core of the dispute. The statements were made live on television during a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was simultaneously sitting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to negotiate the cessation of some military training.

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