Kremlin says Putin pulled troops out of Ukraine, NATO disagrees

By Michelle Kapusta,

Kremlin announced on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has again pulled military troops out of the Ukraine, however, NATO said that is not the case.

The New York Times reported that Putin said he was ordering the soldiers away from the Ukrainian border, but NATO has not seen any signs of a pullback.

“So far we haven’t seen any withdrawal at all, and I strongly regret that because withdrawal of Russian troops would be a first important contribution to de-escalating the crisis,” said NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

CNN noted that NATO would “welcome” removal of the troops and is urging Putin to keep his promise.

This is not the first time the Russian leader has said he was moving the military out of the eastern border. Each time though, officials said that the soldiers did not return to their bases.

"I think it's the third Putin statement on withdrawal of Russian troops ... but so far we haven't seen any withdrawal at all," Rasmussen said.

Ukraine is scheduled to hold its presidential elections on Sunday.

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