Russia's statement on the withdrawal of troops from the Ukrainian border is "important and well overdue."
This was stated by a spokesman for the Alliance in a comment to Reuters.
"Any steps towards de-escalation by Russia would be important and well overdue," NATO's official told Reuters.
At the same time, NATO will continue to monitor the situation.
"NATO remains vigilant and we will continue to closely monitor Russia's unjustified military build-up in and around Ukraine," the official said.
The official said NATO stood with Ukraine, which is not a member of the alliance, and called on Russia to withdraw all its forces from Ukraine's territory.
Russian troops amassing along Ukraine's borders
- Russia late in March 2021 deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to Ukraine's Armed Forces. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills.
- Enemy troops are reinforcing their advanced units with reconnaissance teams and sniper pairs, involving Russian army instructors in personnel training. Russia-led forces' artillery units are reportedly on full alert in certain districts, including villages and towns in occupied Ukrainian territory.
- According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Russian Federation is trying to put pressure on Ukraine by increasing the number of troops along the border.
- Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense said they were concerned about the escalation of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
- The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.
- On April 22, 2021, Russia announced that it was about to withdraw troops of the Southern and Western military districts, which have been conducting drills in occupied Crimea and near the borders of Ukraine, to their permanent deployment sites starting from April 23.