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Ukraine calls on Russia to pull back its troops from the border

During phone call with French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, Dmytro Kuleba stresses importance of being ‘vigilant and firm’ during negotiations with Moscow

Military instructors and civilians stand prior to a training session at an abandoned factory in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, on January 30, 2022. (Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)
Military instructors and civilians stand prior to a training session at an abandoned factory in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, on January 30, 2022. (Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

KYIV, Ukraine — Kyiv on Sunday urged Moscow to pull back its troops from Ukraine’s border and continue dialogue with the West, if it is “serious” about de-escalating tensions that have soared, thanks to fears of a Russian invasion.

“If Russian officials are serious when they say they don’t want a new war, Russia must continue diplomatic engagement and pull back military forces it amassed along Ukraine’s borders, and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine,” Kyiv’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted.

The Kremlin has deployed over 100,000 troops and heavy armor along Ukraine’s borders, according to the West, which fears that the Kremlin will stage an incursion.

“Diplomacy is the only responsible way,” Kuleba said.

Moscow has denied plans for an invasion and said it does not want war but is seeking security guarantees from Washington and NATO to curb the eastwards expansion of the alliance.

These include a guarantee that NATO will not admit new members, in particular Ukraine, and the United States will not establish new military bases in ex-Soviet countries.

During a phone conversation with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on Saturday, Kuleba said it was important to stay “vigilant and firm” during negotiations with Moscow.

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