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Comments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the Statement of Russian Deputy Minister of Defense
16 April 2014 16:58

On April 14, 2014 a number of Russian mass media sources provided details of the statement made by Russian Deputy Minister of Defense A.Antonov about the suspension of further transfer to Ukraine of its military equipment seized from Ukraine in course of the Russian aggression in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. He pointed out that this step was determined by the international obligations of the Russian Federation “to ban or refrain from delivery of weaponry to hotspots”.

This position can be considered at least strange because of the following.

First, Ukraine is not, and cannot even be considered a hot spot. The antiterrorist operation does not give grounds to assert that Ukraine is a hot spot. Special units of Ukraine engaged in anti-terrorist operations act professionally in order to neutralize subversive groups that have illegally crossed the border of our state.

Secondly, the question is not about military-technical cooperation in its classic sense. The point at issue is the return of Ukrainian military equipment illegally seized by means of foray and robbery by units of the Russian Armed Forces during the annexation of a part of the sovereign territory of Ukraine – Crimea. And that, under no circumstances, shall be regarded as "the supply of weaponry”. Therefore, the references made by the Russian officials on any international commitments are inappropriate.

Thirdly, Russia is traditionally quite selectively approaches to its international obligations in the area of  export control and in no way explains how its weaponry and military equipment mysteriously appeared and continue to appear on the Ukrainian territory, particularly in the Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where they are widely used by illegal armed formations.

Thus, the statement by the Deputy Defence Minister of the Russian Federation A.Antonov of 15 April, 2014 concerning suspension of the return of Ukrainian military equipment is no more than a substitution of concepts and the use of double standards in fulfillment of its international obligations.

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