Ukrainian Defence Minister: Ukrainian Armed Forces in Crimea ready for defense in response to Russia's action

Photo: Ukrainian Defence Minister: Ukrainian Armed Forces in Crimea ready for defense in response to Russia's action / Politics

In defiance of international agreements Russia continues to build up military capabilities in Crimea. The Ukrainian military units, stationed in the peninsula, have enhanced their readiness to resist, acting Defence Minister Ihor Teniukh has said at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on Saturday, Ukrinform reported.

"The Russian side, contrary to the basic memorandum on the presence of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine, we can see a build-up of forces and equipment in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Thus, for the last night eight Russian aircraft IL -76 and about ten helicopters Mi-8 and Mi-24 without notice and permission have violated Ukraine's airspace," Teniukh said, noting that such actions are contrary to the principles of inviolability of state borders of neighboring countries and the agreement between Ukraine and Russia on the status and conditions of presence of the Black Sea fleet in the Ukrainian territory.

In this regard, the commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have contacted the Russian side, and warned it of avoiding a violation of the airspace of Ukraine, the acting defence minister emphasized.

According to Teniukh, in recent days the Russian Federation has built up its military forces in the peninsula up to 6,000 people. Also, about thirty BTR-80 [armored personnel vehicles - ed.] have been deployed to Crimea. Russian Black Sea Fleet servicemen are blocking administrative buildings and military units.

"These illegal actions by the Russian Federation violate provisions of security guarantees (Budapest Memorandum). Therefore, the military units of Ukraine, stationed in Crimea, have enhanced readiness and are ready to defend," Teniukh emphasized.

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