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Russo-Ukrainian war: Britain will accept ‘no less’ than Putin’s withdrawal | World | News

More than a month after Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine, the Kremlin has signaled it is willing to withdraw from some military operations. Boris Johnson said Russia would be judged on its “actions”, “not its words”. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin announced on Tuesday, March 29, that the country’s troops would halt their activities around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in a bid to increase the chances of success in future peace talks.

Quoted by Max Seddon of the Financial Times in a post on Twitter, he said Moscow had decided to “fundamentally reduce military activity towards Kyiv and Chernigiv”, the latter being a city in northern Ukraine.

This, he added, was to “enhance mutual trust for future negotiations to agree and sign a peace deal with Ukraine”.

Johnson’s spokesman later stressed “we will judge Putin and his regime by his actions, not by his words”, signaling any praise will be withheld until troops appear to be withdrawing from their current positions.

He also told reporters that Moscow’s decision was probably taken out of necessity and not out of a desire for peace.

The spokesman said: “There has been some reduction in Russian bombing around Kyiv, mainly because Ukrainian forces have managed to push back the Russian offensive in the northwest of the city.”

Stating the Prime Minister’s position, he went on to emphasize any minor withdrawal is a step in the right direction but not far enough.

Britain, he added, would not accept “anything less” than a full troop withdrawal.

A Johnson spokesman highlighted: “The fighting continues. There was heavy bombing in Mariupol and other areas.

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The British Government’s commitment to accepting nothing less than a “full withdrawal” of Russia has been well received by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Asked this weekend by the Economist if Johnson was more interested in sending weapons to Ukraine than French President Emmanuel Macron, Zelensky replied: “Yes.”

He said: “To be honest, Johnson is a leader who helps more.

“State leaders react according to how their constituents act. In this case, Johnson is an example.”

Following this, Johnson confirmed in a post on Twitter “the UK will continue to step up our efforts to help Ukraine defend itself against aggression”.

He is in close talks with Zelensky, while others – Macron in particular – speak regularly with Putin in a bid to bring the possibility of peace closer.