WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States is removing special trade benefits for Russia in the midst of a fight over its involvement in Ukraine.
President Barack Obama notified Congress on Tuesday that he's removing Russia from the Generalized System of Preferences program because the country is now too economically developed to need the benefits. The White House also said Russia's involvement in Ukraine made it "particularly appropriate to take this step now."
The White House says the action means imports of Russian goods will be subject to normal tax rates.
The announcement comes on the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country has pulled troops back from the border it shares with Ukraine. But the White House says there is "no evidence" that Russia has done so.
WASHINGTON (AP) --The White House says there is "no evidence" that Russia has withdrawn troops from its border with Ukraine.
The comments from White House spokesman Josh Earnest came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country had pulled troops back from the border. Earnest says the White House would welcome a "meaningful and transparent" withdrawal if it were to take place.
Putin also urged insurgents in southeastern Ukraine to postpone their planned referendum Sunday on autonomy. Earnest said the U.S. believes the referendum should be canceled, not postponed.
Russia has had about 40,000 troops positioned on Ukraine's border for several weeks. The U.S. says those forces are there to stir up instability in Ukraine, not for regular training exercises.