Comments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the Statement by the Russian Defense Minister S.Shoigu
24 abril 2014 20:03

On April 24, 2014 a number of Russian media agencies posted information about the statement by Russian Defense Minister S.Shoigu, in which he announced military exercises of the battalion tactical groups of the Southern and Western military districts of the Russian Armed Forces in response to "aggravated situation in the South-Eastern Ukraine". During the exercises the air force will be conduct flights to train for manoeuvres along the state borders of Ukraine".

Thus, the Russian side has actually confirmed that its military activities carried out near Ukrainian border within the last months is not of a routine nature, and is directly related to the developments in Ukraine.

We can assert that in such a manner Moscow, while demonstrating its military power near the Ukrainian borders, is trying to influence the legitimate actions of Ukrainian authorities aimed at fighting armed band groups, carrying out terrorist acts against the civil population of Ukraine. While suffering itself from a terrorist threat the Russian Federation surprisingly turned into a terrorism exporter and is ready to defend with its own armed forces the terrorists on the territory of Ukraine.

Russian military exercises near the Ukrainian border cannot but cause a concern, especially taking into account recent statements by the Russian Foreign Minister giving an unambiguous reference to the possibility of sending Russian troops to Ukraine.

In this respect, Ukraine, according to paragraph 16 of the Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, through the OSCE communication network requested the Russian Federation to provide explanation on the objectives and venue of the exercises, date of their completion, as well as on the number and types of military units involved.

In accordance with the Vienna Document, the Russian Federation should provide a clear explanation of these exercises within 48 hours after receiving the request, that is by 16:00 Kyiv time, April 26.

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