US Defense Says Russia Has Withdrawn Most of Forces from Ukraine Border

Russia has pulled back most of its troops from the border with Ukraine, according to a U.S. defense official, as government forces continued a campaign to wipe out separatist rebels in the former Soviet Republic’s east.

A “majority of the Russian forces” have been withdrawn from the Ukrainian border, Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters traveling to Singapore with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. About seven battalions of Russian troops, or “several thousands,” remain, he said. Russia’s withdrawal may be marred by a gas dispute. Talks with Ukraine in Berlin today won’t advance, Ukrainian First Deputy Energy Minister Yuri Zyukov said yesterday.

Russia is unfortunately now an “enemy,” Zyukov said in the Ukrainian capital. It “speaks in ultimatums,” he said, and the only solution to the natural gas standoff is likely to be arbitration.

Confirmation of Russia’s partial withdrawal emerged hours after separatist rebels downed a military helicopter in eastern Ukraine, killing a general and 13 troops. Ukrainian forces used aviation and artillery assets to “destroy” the rebel unit blamed in the attack, the Interior Ministry’s National Guard unit said in a statement.

via Bloomberg

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza