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Ukrainian General staff declines to comment on missile firing drills plans

November 25, 2016, 19:12 UTC+3 KIEV
Earlier on Friday Russian aviation watchdog said that Ukraine had made a unilateral decision to hold missile firing drills in the Crimea area
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© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

KIEV, November 25. /TASS/. Ukraine’s General Staff declines to comment on the reports about its plans to hold missile firing drills in the Crimea area, General Staff Spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov told TASS.

"We don’t comment on these reports. All the matters concerning the occupied territories are within the competence of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories," the spokesman said.

Earlier on Friday Russian aviation watchdog Rosaviatsia said that Ukraine had made a unilateral decision to hold missile firing drills in the Crimea area. According to Rosaviatsia, this would be a violation of international agreements.

Rosaviatsia also said that on November 24, Ukraine had issued an aviation notification on "activating dangerous zones in the airspace in view of missile firing exercises scheduled for December 1 and 2."

In October 2001, the Ukrainian military shot down a passenger plane over the Black Sea by a missile from the S-200 antiaircraft system during air defense drills. A Tupolev Tu-154M airliner of the Sibir airline performing a charter flight from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk was hit by the missile near the coast of Russia’s southern Krasnodar Territory. The plane was fully destroyed and sank. All 78 people on its board, including 66 passengers and 12 crewmembers, died. The passengers were Russian and Israeli citizens or had dual citizenship.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 passenger airliner on a flight from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the area of hostilities between local militias and Ukrainian governmental troops in east Ukraine’s Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. All 298 people aboard the airliner died in the air crash. Most of the air crash’s victims were Dutch nationals.

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