Merkel and Biden urge Russia to withdraw troops from borders with Ukraine

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden called on Russia to reduce its military presence on the borders with Ukraine, writes Reuters on Wednesday, April 14.

During the telephone conversation, the leaders of the two countries agreed that Russia should reduce “the recent reinforcement of troops in order to achieve de-escalation of the situation,” said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Biden and Merkel also discussed the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, highlighting the importance of vaccine availability for populations around the world.

Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said NATO was determined to get Moscow to take steps to de-escalate tensions around Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova expressed the opinion that NATO is inciting Kiev to continue the conflict in Donbass.

She pointed out that NATO is a military alliance that should deal with security issues, but it “flirts in every way” with the Ukrainian authorities.

In turn, the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the de-escalation of the situation in Donbass would be possible only if Kiev refuses to provoke.

On April 11, the US Secretary of State announced the White House’s concerns about the fact that “more Russian forces are concentrated on the border between Russia and Ukraine than at any time since 2014”.

Since 2014, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the residents of Donbass, who refused to recognize the results of the coup and the new government in Ukraine. The settlement issues are being discussed in the Minsk and Normandy formats – with the participation of Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany.