Russian troops near the Ukrainian border will return to its permanent bases after completing its military exercises, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said, calling for a "de-escalation" of rhetoric.
According to Reuters, Mr Lavrov said that he is expecting answers from NATO on the military alliance's activity in Eastern Europe.
An unusually frank Nato Secretary General issued an unequivocal warning on the course of events should Russia attack Latvia or Estonia.
The West responds with sanctions and closer political ties with Ukraine as Russia's President seals the annexing of Crimea to much fanfare.
Supporters of the controversial fracking industry believe shale gas could be America's most potent weapon in the stand-off with Russia.