NATO: Russian troops still on Ukraine border; Medvedev warns of new Cold War
By End the Lie
NATO said that there is no sign of Russian troops pulling away from the Ukrainian border despite their pledge to do so, according to reports on Tuesday, as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned of a new Cold War.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the tens of thousands of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine to return to their bases, according to an announcement from Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday.
Peskov said that the withdrawal has started and could take some time to finish, but NATO doubts the assurances.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that there were no signs of troop withdrawal, according to CNN. The Obama administration was also skeptical about Putin’s order.
“As you know, we have heard that promise before and have yet to see any indication that it’s been fulfilled,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
“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. “Withdrawal of Russian troops will be the first step to de-escalating the situation.”
The Russian Defense Ministry, however, maintains that their 40,000 army troops near the border have begun dismantling their positions, according to Voice of America.
In a speech in Romania on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden said that “Europe’s borders should never again be changed at the point of a gun.”
Biden’s visit is part of the White House’s campaign to reassure allies in the region that the U.S. continues to support them, according to VOA.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Bloomberg published Tuesday, Medvedev said that Russia is being pulled into a new Cold War with the U.S. and its allies.
The U.S. and its allies are using economic warfare similar to that of the Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev, according to Medvedev.
Medvedev revealed that Russia has prepared retaliatory measures in response to proposed increased sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU, though he didn’t reveal the details.
“We are slowly but surely moving toward a second Cold War, which no one needs,” Medvedev said to Bloomberg. “We haven’t especially commented on” sanctions “or responded to them harshly, although we could do something unpleasant or offensive to those countries that are introducing these sanctions.”
Medvedev also said that President Barack Obama lacks “political tact.”
The comments from Medvedev show that there is little in the way of eased tensions over the crisis in Ukraine.
This is especially troublesome given that the Ukrainian presidential election is scheduled for May 25.