'I call on Russia to withdraw all their forces from eastern Ukraine' - NATO chief

'I call on Russia to withdraw all their forces from eastern Ukraine' - NATO chiefJens Stoltenberg talks on Ukraine, Russia and Syria.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg: "I would be very careful about speculating on any links between Ukraine and the Russian presence in Syria. What we know is that Russia still has substantial forces, both along the border to Ukraine and also inside Ukraine.

Russia still has forces, equipment, command and control and they help and they train the separatists. So there is still a substantial Russian military presence, both close to the borders of Ukraine and also inside Ukraine.

This happens at the same time as we see a lull in the fight. There's a few violations of the ceasefire but the forces are still there and the situation is still very fragile and I call on Russia to fully respect the Minsk agreement, meaning withdrawing all their support, their forces from eastern Ukraine.

"It's too early to determine exactly what the Russians are planning to do in Syria. What we see is an increased military presence by Russia and it is important that this increased presence doesn't create problems for the fight against ISIL.

So there is a need for contact between Russia and the United States, which is in the lead of the coalition fighting ISIL.

And I welcome that there are already and there are going to me more also contacts between the United States and Russia addressing the challenges in Syria and I also urge Russia to play a constructive, cooperative role in fighting ISIL.

To support Assad is not a constructive contribution to finding a solution… There is a need at least to de-conflict the presence of Russian military forces in Syria and the presence of coalition forces fighting ISIL."

Source: Ukraine Today
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