Amid new tensions over the Ukraine conflict, Russia has ended its military maneuvers. More than 10,000 soldiers are now returning to their bases, the Defense Ministry announced in Moscow on Saturday. So in 2014, military exercises took place on the Russian-integrated Ukrainian border and on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. However, the practice is far from over, for example in the North Caucasus and Armenia.
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The military insisted that these were routine maneuvers. It was said from the beginning that Russia had no “aggression plans” behind the exercise. The main concern of the West is that Russia has mobilized tens of thousands of troops in areas far from Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin did not give a clear answer to the question of whether he can guarantee a non-invasion of Ukraine at a press conference on Thursday. He replied: His country will act in a way that demands its security interests.
In response, Russia is demanding binding security guarantees from the West. In a draft agreement, Moscow has called for an end to NATO’s eastern expansion. According to Russian sources, talks with the United States are set to begin in January. From the Moscow side, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryapkov is scheduled to attend. The Kremlin announced on Friday that it expects “specific responses to our plans” in January. (dpa)