MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s armed forces in the west of the country will return to their normal positions within three to four weeks, Moscow’s ambassador to Ireland told Irish broadcaster RTE.
Russia has massed troops near Ukraine, fuelling fears it plans to attack its neighbour. Moscow denies such plans.
“What I can tell [you] is, within maybe three to four weeks, the configuration of the forces in the western region of Russia will resume its normal standard posture,” Yuri Filatov told RTE late on Tuesday.
“We are conducting planned exercises with Belarusian military forces. They will be over by Feb. 20 and these troops will be withdrawn. You can check on that next week.”
His comments were picked up by Russian media on Wednesday.
Russia’s western and southern military districts on Wednesday said some forces surrounding Ukraine were withdrawing but NATO urged Moscow to prove it was pulling back, saying there were signs that more troops were on the way.
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)