Newscast Media MOSCOW—Moscow is surprised by allegations of a buildup of Russian
troops near Ukraine, saying it is only taking measures backed by European leaders to
better protect its border, a Kremlin spokesman said Friday.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Russia had to
tighten security at the Ukrainian border “because it is being increasingly violated,
including by military vehicles.”
“We are surprised by statements of alleged deployment of Russian troops along the
border with Ukraine. In this case, there is no military buildup, there are only measures
to strengthen the border security of the Russian Federation, measures taken on
direct instructions from Russian president,” Peskov said.
“[The instructions] were given several weeks ago, and they were made public and
received a positive response from European leaders,” the spokesman added.
“As for the troop numbers, this is defined by the need to ensure the due level of
border security,” Peskov said.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday the alliance has seen
a few thousand Russian troops at Ukraine’s border, but cannot determine what
mission the troops have. Ukraine’s Border Service said Russian troops have been
gathering in the border area with Ukraine.
On May 19, President Putin ordered the return of all troops involved in drills in the
Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions on the border with Ukraine to their permanent
bases to continue military training. NATO later confirmed the withdrawal.
In late May, General Valery Gerasimov, the Russian military’s chief of the general
staff, said troops near the border with Ukraine would return to their bases in around
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders have
signed treaties making Ukraine’s Crimea and the city of Sevastopol part of the Russian
Addressing a special joint session of the Russian parliament ahead of the signing
ceremony on March 18, Putin said to a standing ovation that “in the hearts and minds
of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia.”
He said Crimea’s secessionist referendum on March 16 was democratic and in full
accordance with international law. He said results of the referendum — in which
Crimea’s secessionist authorities said 97 percent of voters backed joining Russia —
were “fully convincing.” CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to
recognize Ukraine’s breakaway region of Crimea as an independent state, the Kremlin
press service said on Monday.
Russia also said that it recognizes Sevastopol, a Crimean port that houses the
Russian Black Sea fleet base, a city with a “special autonomous status” within the
Republic of Crimea.
The decree comes into full force immediately after being signed.
Crimea, the autonomous republic within Ukraine, has refused to recognize as
legitimate the new leadership in the country. A referendum held Sunday in the largely
Russian-ethnic autonomous republic saw over 96 percent of voters support
reunification with Russia.
On Tuesday, Putin will address an assembly of both houses of parliament, as well as
heads of regions and representatives of public organizations about Crimea’s
Source: Ria Novosti