“The passionate protests in Crimea set many questions both to the government and each citizen of the country,” said Acting NSDCU Secretary Volodymyr Horbulin at today’s mass media briefing, according to the President’s press-office.

      He characterized the events in Crimea as “a well-planned, well-prepared and fairly well-implemented special project,” carried out by the Progressive Socialists and the Communist Party of Ukraine. However, their aggressiveness is “senseless and groundless because the Sea Breeze exercises have been held in Ukraine since 1997,” he said. The parties used the protests to reanimate their political activity and were later joined by the Regions Party, Mr. Horbulin added.

      “The decision of the National Security and Defense Council to hold this year’s exercise will be executed if the Verkhovna Rada approves it. If they do not agree, the Defense Ministry is ready to conduct it without involving troops from other countries,” he explained.

      The Secretary said “Ukraine will lose much if it refuses to conduct the exercise.”

      “The current situation is a challenge for national security, a serious challenge, but I would not call it a threat,” he said, adding that he daily met with heads of law enforcement agencies to analyze the situation.