MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to return military hardware from Crimea to Ukraine does not require any additional official messages, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
When commenting on a statement made by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin, who said that Kiev had not received Russia’s official message in this connection and called the proposal "a trick," Peskov said that "there definitely may be official documents, including diplomatic notes, but an official statement by the head of state can only be views as an official proposal and an official initiative." "I don’t know if any documents were sent through diplomatic channels, but I repeat that even if no documents were sent, there was no need to do that because the Russian president had made an official statement," Peskov added.
The Russian presidential spokesman also called for refraining from interpreting the Ukrainian top diplomat’s words, pointing out that "Kiev should only say ‘yes’ or ‘no’."
On Monday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin made it clear that Kiev would not have its military hardware back from Crimea in response to Moscow’s proposal. In particular, he said that Kiev and Moscow "do not maintain dialogue on issues concerning the status of Crimea," while Ukraine "will not take any steps that could weaken its legal and political positions." In addition, the Ukrainian top diplomat pointed out that Kiev had not received any official messages from Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said that Moscow was ready to return Ukrainian military hardware from Crimea to Kiev, noting that the military equipment was in poor condition. Ukrainian Navy Commander Igor Voronchenko later said that the military hardware’s handover required a "very careful study" so the decision would be made by the country’s supreme authorities. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman, in turn, made it clear that Kiev was not ready to accept the military hardware left in Crimea in the form proposed by Moscow.