NATO to Russia: Pull Troops from Ukraine
NATO urged Russia Friday to pull back its troops from Ukraine's border. New satellite pictures reveal an estimated 40,000 Russian troops gathered there.
The photos, taken between March 22 and April 2, show tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, and aircraft parked and ready for action at a series of makeshift staging posts.
NATO Secretary Gen. Anders Fogh Rasmussen said if Russia is serious about opening a dialogue, those troops need to go.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's prime minister is looking to ease the tension in the eastern region of his country, an area where pro-Russia separatists have captured several government buildings.
Just last month, Russia quickly annexed Crimea after voters cast ballots to secede. Now pro-Russia activists are calling for a referendum that could lead to Moscow annexing more of Ukraine.
On Friday, Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk met with legitimate leaders in the east and told them more power should be delegated to regional authorities.
The cash-strapped country's crisis was also a topic of concern at the latest meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
"So, in Ukraine, we have put together a $3.5 billion package, about $1.5 billion of which will be provided in direct budget support," World Bank President Jim Kim said at a Thursday news conference."
Kim's promise of support comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin levels a new threat at Ukraine.
Putin is demanding Ukraine pay $35 billion for the natural gas Russia supplies to the country. He also warned in a letter to 18 Eastern European leaders that Europe may face a shutdown of Russian natural gas supplies.