MOSCOW — The Soviet Union will withdraw a division of troops from Mongolia between April and June of this year, Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady I. Gerasimov announced Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference, Gerasimov said the Soviet and Mongolian governments have reached an accord for a partial pullout of troops sent into Mongolia in early 1966 at the request of the Mongolian government.
Western military experts said the withdrawal of a division would involve 8,000 to 11,000 men out of an estimated 75,000 Soviet troops in Mongolia.
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, in a major speech in Vladivostok last July, announced that Moscow was studying the possibility of withdrawing a "substantial part" of its forces from Mongolia, a close Soviet ally since 1921.
Diplomats said the proposal appeared aimed largely at China, which has expressed unease over the presence of Soviet troops on its borders.