MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Russia is free to deploy its troops and military equipment in Crimea, which is a part of its territory, and views as a futile provocation all attempts to inspect the peninsula as part of inspections in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
"The modern status of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as territorial entities of the Russian Federation cannot be reviewed. Respectively, Russia is free to deploy troops and military equipment on its territory, and all attempts to inspect the territory of Crimea as part of inspections in Ukraine are provocative and futile. Naturally, Russia is ready to accept inspectors, observers and the evaluation group in Crimea if it receives relevant requests under the Vienna document," the ministry said, commenting on the US Department of State’s Report on Adherence to and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments.
Commenting on other US claims over Russia’s alleged non-compliance of the Vienna Document on confidence-and security-building measures, including refusal to provide information on military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the ministry said that "those sovereign states are not members of the OSCE and, therefore, are not part of the zone where confidence-building measures are being implemented."
Regarding information on military exercises, the ministry said that "in 2017, as before, the Russian side voluntarily and regularly sent to the OSCE member states, including the United States, notifications to specify detailed parameters of snap checks, and also provided information about major military exercises," including the Russian-Belarusian Zapad-2017 exercise.