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No sign of Russian troop pullback from Ukraine border: Pentagon

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, right, and Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby, second left, arrive to deliver press statements during the GCC meeting on May 14, 2014 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. AFP PHOTO/POOL/MANDEL NGAN

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said on Monday it has not seen any indication of Russian troop movements away from Ukraine's borders despite a Kremlin announcement that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered them to return to their permanent bases.

"We have seen reports of President Putin's orders to withdraw Russian forces from the border with Ukraine. We've been clear about our call for the Russian military to work to de-escalate the tension there," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told Reuters.

"If those reports are valid, and if those orders are followed, such a withdrawal would be welcome. We have seen no indication of any movement."

Putin's office said he had issued the order because the spring maneuvers were over.

 

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