Russia said on Tuesday that some forces deployed near Ukraine were beginning to return to their bases, after a buildup of Moscow’s army around Ukrainian borders sparked fears of a invasion.
“Units of south and west military districts, having completed their tasks already started loading on rail and road transport and today they go begin moving their military garrisons,” a defense ministry spokesman said.
The remarks made by the Russian news agencies come first of a planned meeting between German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Russian President Vladimir Putin to defuse tensions over Ukraine.
An accumulation of some 100,000 Russian troops around the ex-Soviet country prompted European leaders and Washington to warn of sweeping economic sanctions if Russia escalates an ongoing separatist conflict in Ukraine sending in troops.
Tensions have been heightened by Russia military exercises, including near Ukraine and in Belarus, where the United States says some 30,000 soldiers participate in scheduled exercises for run until February 20.
Meeting with Putin earlier this week, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that some of the russian war games would like soon comes to an end.
Ukraine defense minister, meanwhile, said on Monday that he had spoken with son Belarusian counterpart and received assurances that no menace weighed on Kiev from Belarusian territory.