KYIV: Ukraine said Tuesday that its joint diplomatic efforts with Western allies have managed to deter a feared Russian invasion.
“We and our allies have managed to prevent Russia from any further escalation,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters.
“It is already the middle of February, and you see that diplomacy is continuing to work.”
Kuleba’s comments came a day after Russia left the door open to more talks with the West to resolve a standoff triggered by Moscow’s opposition to NATO‘s influence in eastern Europe and Ukraine’s ambition to one day join the alliance.
Russia’s defence ministry said Tuesday some of the more than 100,000 soldiers stationed near Ukraine’s borders were starting to return to base after completing military drills.
Ukrainian officials have spent weeks questioning US intelligence reports suggesting that Russia was readying an imminent attack on its western neighbour.
But Kuleba stressed that tensions remained high along Ukraine’s frontiers and that Russia still needed to pull back its remaining forces.
“We have a rule: don’t believe what you hear, believe what you see. When we see a withdrawal, we will believe in a de-escalation,” he said.


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