- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2014

The United States wants “firm evidence” that Russia is indeed withdrawing forces from the borders of Ukraine as President Vladimir Putin had supposedly ordered, a senior official said Monday.

“We’ve heard from Russian leaders in the past that they were removing troops from the border and they haven’t done so,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We’ll want to see clear, firm evidence of this move before we make any judgement,” the official said, adding that there is no evidence to suggest the Kremlin’s most recent announcement is true.

Mr. Putin had reportedly ordered Russian troops involved in spring exercises near the Ukrainian border to return to base, again, days ahead of Ukraine’s first vote since the pro-Russian government in the west was toppled last winter.

Earlier, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he had no evidence that Russian troops were withdrawing, AFP reported.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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