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Russia denies mobilizing troops near Ukrainian border

MOSCOW, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia dismissed reports on Tuesday that it was allegedly mobilizing troops to its border with Ukraine after the absorption of Crimea, a former Ukrainian republic.

"Results of monitoring, which are recognized even by Ukraine, are obvious and the data speaks for itself," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, citing the recent inspection flight in Russia carried out by Ukrainian experts.

Peskov blamed the Western governments for "unfair behavior" not only in military sphere but also in other spheres.

The spokesman also saw no reason to give Ukraine a discount in the price it pays for Russian gas.

"Since there is no Russian fleet in Ukraine, there's no reason for discounts," Peskov said. "Either there's no reason to pay in line with agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and (ousted Ukrainian President Viktor) Yanukovych, because there's no legitimate authority in Ukraine."

President Putin agreed last year to provide Ukraine with a 15-billion-dollar loan and gas supplies on a discounted price of 268.5 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters. Previously Russia sold gas to Ukraine for 400 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.

Under a "gas for fleet" deal signed in April 2010, Russia nodded to a 30-percent price drop for gas supplies to Ukraine in exchange for extending its lease of the naval base in Sevastopol for another 25 years.

The city of Sevastopol, along with Crimea, joined Russia last week after a referendum, which is not recognized by major West powers.

The Ukrainian troops were ordered on Monday to pull out of Crimea. Ukraine's acting President Alexander Turchynov said the government would evacuate military personnel, their families and civilians from Crimea in the nearest future.

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