Russia won’t send troops to east Ukraine ‘for now’, says deputy foreign minister

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 22, 2022, 08:06 PM(IST)

Russia has amassed over 150,000 soldiers to regions near Ukraine's borders, with the West fearing Moscow could use them for an attack at any moment. Photograph:( The New York Times )

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Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said the treaties include the provision of 'military aid' but added that 'speculation' on troop deployments should be avoided.

Russia has decided not to send troops to eastern Ukraine “for now”, but added that it will do so in case of a "threat", the deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday.

The announcement comes after Moscow's parliament ratified cooperation deals with Ukraine's separatist republics.

Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said the treaties include the provision of "military aid" but added that "speculation" on troop deployments should be avoided.

"For now, no one is planning to send anything anywhere. If there is a threat, then we will provide assistance in accordance with the ratified treaties,” he said.

Russia had deployed a few Russian troops to eastern Ukraine as “peacekeepers” after Vladimir Putin recognised Donetsk and Luhansk regions as independent from Ukraine.

Also read | Russia has ‘hit list’ of Ukrainians to be killed after invasion, claims US

The deployment of troops invited ire from the West leaders, with the United Kingdom imposing sanctions on three Russian banks and three men who are close to Putin.

Britain has threatened to cut off Russian companies' access to US dollars and British pounds, blocking them from raising capital in London and to expose what PM Boris Johnson calls the “Russian doll” of property and company ownership.

The series of announcements comes even as Russia amassed over 150,000 soldiers to regions near Ukraine's borders, with the West fearing Moscow could use them for an attack at any moment.

Also read | Did Family Guy predict Vladimir Putin's Ukraine strategy?

Meanwhile, Kremlin-backed separatist leader Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday that Moscow formally recognized the breakaway region of Donetsk within the wider boundaries of eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, much of which is controlled by Ukrainian forces.

Speaking on Russian state television, Pushilin said the matter of the territory not controlled by separatists would be resolved later.

"The border issue is not simple, it will be resolved later," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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