Ukraine denies military build up on Russian border
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Thursday
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Thursday it would strengthen its troop numbers along its borders with all foreign states, rather than with Russia alone, according to RIA Novosti.
Delo, a Russian-language business newspaper published in Ukraine, said on Wednesday that the former Soviet republic is planning to deploy more troops on its border with Russia in light of the recent military conflict in the Caucasus.
"The plans are to redeploy troops evenly across the entire territory of the country, not just in the Crimea, in the east or south," a spokesman for the ministry said.
He also stressed that the redeployment of troops was necessary to face new global challenges and was Ukraine`s sovereign matter, which should not be questioned by other countries.
"If Ukraine decides to build up its defenses on the border with a certain country, it will do so regardless of what country it is," the official said.
The Delo newspaper cited Ukrainian Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov as saying that the recent military conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia has forced every country in the region to review national security.
The minister has reportedly singled out raising the combat readiness of air defense units and increasing security around strategically important facilities as priority tasks for 2009.
According to Delo, Ukraine could initially increase the number of air defense units near the Russian border by redeploying them from its western regions. The modernization of the existing S-300, Buk-M1, Osa and Tunguska air defense systems is also on the agenda.