German Defense Minister Sees No Sign of Russian Withdrawal, ‘Just Words’

By Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
February 18, 2022 Updated: February 18, 2022

BRUSSELS—Germany has seen no sign that Russia has withdrawn troops from the Ukraine border area, and Moscow must do so urgently to de-escalate the situation or else face harsh consequences, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Thursday.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Wednesday its forces were pulling back after exercises near Ukraine, but a senior Biden administration official said the United States does not believe Russia.

Lambrecht called for a substantial withdrawal.

“We haven’t seen that yet, and that’s what we’re waiting for,” she told reporters on arrival for a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.

“There are only words so far, no deeds yet,” she added.

“They [deeds] have to follow urgently and one can only appeal urgently to Russia: Contribute to de-escalation. Otherwise, there will be really harsh economic and political consequences,” she said.

By Paul Carrel

Reuters