Russia stands troops down on Ukraine border while dismissing impact of fresh US sanctions

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Moscow has urged Washington to ‘turn down its anti-Russian rhetoric’ during a phone call between the two government’s defence chiefs.

Chuck Hagel is also said to have been told that Russian troops conducting exercises on Ukraine’s border had been stood down but Sergei Shoigu made no mention of any overall reduction in Russian troops in the area.

The call followed the announcement of fresh sanctions by Washington on Russian firms and government officials close to President Vladimir Putin.

The chief of Russia’s state-controlled energy giant, Rosneft has however dismissed the new restrictions placed on him personally saying they would have little effect on the company.

British Oil company BP, which owns almost 20% of Rosneft, said it will continue to work with the firm despite the sanctions.