MOSCOW, April 22 (Xinhua) -- War between Russia and Ukraine was unlikely, a senior Russian defense official said Tuesday.
"I don't believe the Russians and Ukrainians will fight each other," Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
Antonov said Russian and Ukrainian military commanders continued to maintain contact, though this had reduced considerably.
Among the issues the two defense ministries currently being discussed were returning Ukrainian weaponry left in Crimea and the return of servicemen recruited from Crimea to the Ukrainian army, he said.
Crimea integrated into Russia on March 18 following a popular referendum not recognized by Kiev and Western capitals.
Antonov also clarified that allegations Russia had beefed up its military presence in the border areas with Ukraine were false.
"We conduct drills in those areas. But their scale does not require the invitation of foreign monitors and they don't exceed the limits set by the Vienna document (of 2011 on confidence and security-building measures)," he said.
Kerry urges Russia to help implement Ukraine deal
WASHINGTON, April 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Russia to "take concrete steps" to help implement the agreement aimed at defusing tensions in Ukraine.
In his telephone talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry urged Russia to publicly call on "separatists to vacate illegal buildings and checkpoints, accept amnesty, and address their grievances politically," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a press briefing. Full story
Russian FM says impossible to isolate Moscow
MOSCOW, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday any attempt to isolate Russia was bound to fail and he urged European Union countries to make responsible and independent decisions on sanctions.
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