The US, as part of the de-escalation around Ukraine, called on Russia for clarification about the exercises. The Ministry of Defense announced new exercises in the west of the country the day after the State Department called on Russia to “return its troops to the barracks.” This is necessary for de-escalation around Ukraine, according to the US
The US authorities expect that, as part of the deescalation efforts, Russia will provide explanations about the military exercises near the border with Ukraine. State Department spokesman Ned Price said this at a briefing.
“ In this case, de-escalation would imply the return of the Russian military to the barracks, an explanation of these maneuvers or their termination, the return of these heavy weapons to places of their usual storage, '' & mdash; he said.
Price said a “ de-escalation atmosphere '' is needed to make progress in the security talks between Moscow and Washington. Among the measures the United States believes is needed to reduce tensions, a State Department spokesman named “ the return of troops to the barracks. '' and 'transparency around any legitimate exercises on Russian soil.'
On the afternoon of January 11, the Western Military District announced the beginning of exercises at training ranges in the Voronezh, Belgorod and Bryansk regions bordering Ukraine. Also, the maneuvers started in the Smolensk region. As stated in the Ministry of Defense, about 3 thousand servicemen of the Red Banner Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District are involved in the exercises, they will work out marches under the influence of sabotage and reconnaissance groups of a conditional enemy.
The Ministry of Defense announced the start of new exercises in the West Military District (the second in the past month: the previous exercises were held at the end of December on the day of the professional holiday of the air defense ground forces) the day after the talks between the representatives of Russia and the United States on security in Europe that took place in Geneva. The Russian side was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the American & mdash; First Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.
Sherman called the negotiations with Ryabkov “ frank and direct. '' According to her, Russia has assured the United States that it does not intend to invade Ukraine, since 100,000 Russian military personnel are engaged in maneuvers and exercises. “ But I will note that none of this [the United States] notified, and it is characteristic that we notify each other about the exercises where we can. And they [Russia] can prove that they really have no intentions, by de-escalation and returning the troops to the barracks, '' & mdash; she added.
The Russian embassy in the United States said it did not understand the logic of Sherman urging the country to “ return its troops to the barracks ''; and explain what the essence of the maneuvers at the border with Ukraine is. The diplomats noted that Russia will continue to conduct exercises on its own territory, since this is its choice and is in the interests of security.
The Russian authorities, commenting on reports in the Western media about plans for an “ invasion '' to Ukraine, denied this information and repeatedly stressed that Russia has no “ aggressive plans '' in relation to other countries, and the movement of troops within the borders & mdash; this is her internal affair.
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