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Kiev continues its rhetoric towards a confrontation with Russia, and with the Eastern Ukrainian republics.
On March 16th, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleg Nikolenko made a comment in response to the statement by Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova about the alleged “illegitimacy” of Ukraine’s efforts to return the occupied Crimea.
Nikolenko noted that the threats of the Russian Foreign Ministry against Ukraine and other member states of the Crimean Platform were yet another manifestation of the ongoing marginalization of Russian foreign policy.
This is incredibly ironic.
“Russia has no other status in Crimea than occupying power. Allegations of encroaching on the ‘territorial integrity of Russia’ is an example of a distorted perception of reality. A thief does not acquire legal ownership of a stolen item. Russia’s internationally recognized borders have long been known. They do not include Crimea and Sevastopol,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said.
He noted that the national strategy approved by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and the currently created Crimean Platform aimed to make efforts to de-occupy Crimea consistent.
Nikolenko also said that Ukraine was receiving much international support for its attempt to promote a new “international format” and that Moscow’s attempt to “discredit the initiative” were evidence enough that it needs to continue.
As mentioned earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that all Kiev’s efforts to return Crimea were “illegitimate” and could be perceived as a “threat of aggression against the two subjects of the Russian Federation”, while the participation of any countries and organizations in such actions, including the Crimean Platform initiative, would be seen “as an unfriendly step towards Russia and a direct encroachment on its territorial integrity.”
Of course, if diplomacy failed, Ukraine is also prepared to use force.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister for European Integration Anatolii Petrenko said that Kiev was “aware” of “Russian military forces concentrated in the occupied Crimea and on Ukraine’s borders and is ready to prevent any further military provocations against its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Ukraine is ready to prevent any further threats to our territorial integrity and sovereignty. We all understand Russia’s military potential and what military forces it has already concentrated on the occupied peninsula. But, at the same time, we are doing everything we can, through military measures and using national resources, to prevent any further aggression from the south towards Ukraine. We will take all adequate measures to protect the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian land,” Petrenko stressed.
“The word ‘cooperation’ is very important both for our policy towards the de-occupation of Crimea and for the development of our defense capabilities. Political engagement, consolidated resources, an international presence in the Black Sea, further assistance to Ukraine in pursuing defense reform and building up modern capabilities, Ukraine’s strategic prospects for becoming a member of a collective security organization are the components that must be used to provide you with a complete answer: Yes, Ukraine is ready to prevent any escalation from many directions,” said the Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine.
No mention was made of Defender Europe 2021 that began recently that involves 30,000 troops and plays out encroaching on Russia’s borders and initiating a war.
- On March 17, the UAF targeted positions of the DPR/LPR forces by grenade launchers near Shakhta
- On March 17, the UAF targeted positions of the DPR/LPR forces by grenade launchers near Leninskoye
- On March 16, artillery of the DPR/LPR forces targeted UAF positions near Vodiane
- On March 16, artillery of the DPR/LPR forces targeted UAF positions near Verkhnyotoretske
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