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NATO on End of Military Drills in Southern Russia: Steps Towards De-Escalation Important

Sputnik News

17:21 GMT 22.04.2021(updated 17:23 GMT 22.04.2021)

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - NATO believes that "any steps" towards de-escalation are important, a NATO official said on Thursday, when commenting on the Russian Defence Ministry's announcement on the conclusion of military drills in the country's south.

Earlier in the day, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the completion of snap combat readiness checks in the southern and western military districts. He also ordered the general staff, the military districts' chiefs and the airborne forces to start returning the troops to the places of their permanent deployment starting Friday, conduct a detailed analysis and sum up the results of the checks.

"We have taken note of the announcement by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. Any steps towards de-escalation by Russia would be important and well overdue. NATO remains vigilant and we will continue to closely monitor Russia's unjustified military build-up in and around Ukraine. NATO stands with Ukraine, and we continue to call on Russia to respect its international commitments and withdraw all its forces from Ukrainian territory," the official said.

© Sputnik

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