Moscow not planning to withdraw Russian troops and close border with Ukraine

The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that Russian troops will not be withdrawn from Ukraine, because they are not allegedly there, and that there are no plans to close the Ukrainian-Russian border controlled by pro-Russian militants. Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made such a demand to Russia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said this at a briefing in Moscow on Thursday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.
“I saw in the news the statement made by the Ukrainian president at a press conference after negotiations with the Australian prime minister. To be honest, such statements cause surprise and confusion. First of all, we have repeatedly said that there were and there are no Russian military representatives in Ukraine, so we have no one to withdraw. As for the border, it is completely secure on our side, and OSCE observers have been deployed at two border checkpoints. As for the Ukrainian part of the border, which is still not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, here they need to negotiate with representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” Lukashevich said.
According to him, the issue of the closure of the Ukrainian-Russian border has never been raised before. As he said, “OSCE monitoring of the entire Russian-Ukrainian border was discussed,” in particular, monitoring of the 400-km-long section of the border, which is controlled by pro-Russian militants and through which Russia supplies military equipment and weapons to Donbas.
At the same time, Lukashevich stressed that the issue of border monitoring “is a nonpublic part of the Minsk agreements.”
According to him, for the Minsk agreements to be fulfilled “it is necessary to get from Kyiv the guarantees of safety” for militants, amnesty and ensure the settlement of social and economic problems. Lukashevich added that only then it would be possible to proceed to the monitoring of the joint border.

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