ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday called the withdrawal of thousands of Russian troops from the Ukrainian border a promising sign, but said all troops positioned on the frontier earlier this year needed to be moved back.
“We do know that thousands of Russian troops have been pulled back and are moving away. We also know that there are still thousands of Russian troops still there that have not yet moved,” Hagel told reporters traveling with him on a trip to Asia and Europe.
“Any time you are moving troops away and equipment and assets away, that’s promising, but they are not where they need to be and won’t be until all of their troops that they positioned along that border a couple of months ago are gone,” Hagel said.
Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Peter Cooney