Russian decision to pull back troops "overdue", NATO says


BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia's announcement on Thursday that it was ordering troops back to base from the area near the border with Ukraine is important and timely, a NATO official said, adding that the Western military alliance would remain vigilant.

"Any steps towards de-escalation by Russia would be important and well overdue," a NATO official told Reuters. "NATO remains vigilant and we will continue to closely monitor Russia's unjustified military build-up in and around Ukraine," the official said.

The official said NATO stood with Ukraine, which is not a member of the alliance, and called on Russia to withdraw all its forces from Ukraine's territory.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold)

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