Military buildup by Russia in Crimea ‘a threat to Black Sea region’
The expansion of Russia's military presence in the Black Sea poses a threat to countries in the region and the EU should respond to this, the representative of Ukraine to the EU, Ambassador Konstantyn Yeliseev, said during a meeting with European diplomats in Brussels on Tuesday, an UNIAN correspondent has reported.
Yeliseev said that after the illegal annexation of the Crimea by Russia, there has been a continued Russian military buildup on the peninsula, namely a modernization of the Black Sea Fleet and infrastructure, including nuclear capabilities.
"Having annexed the Crimea, Russia has had an opportunity to project its military power even further. This is a real threat to the region, including Turkey and Romania. The EU and member states should work out a detailed response to this challenge," Yeliseev said.
The Ukrainian diplomat also stressed that Russia continues to supply weapons to militants in the Donbas, having illegally deployed in Ukraine more than 500 tanks, 500 artillery systems, and 300 missile systems. Moscow has concentrated a significant amount of military equipment in the Russian region near the Ukrainian border in the east and in the Crimea, he said.
"The terrorist leaders have declared their intention to seize the rest of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. It is obvious that they are not preparing for a political dialogue. This is a wake-up call for all of us" the ambassador said, expressing his concern.
He also noted that not so long ago, "the OSCE acknowledged the insufficiency of its own resources, saying that a further international presence on the ground would make a contribution to the peace process."
"We expect the EU will properly study such possibility and will soon send an assessment mission to Ukraine," the Ukrainian diplomat added.