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Foreign observers carry out 8 inspections in Russia’s territory

April 16, 2014, 17:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The inspections were part of military transparency measures in the framework of the Open Skies Treaty and the 2011 Vienna Document on Transparency and Confidence-building Measures
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 Ballistic missile utilization center in Russia (archive)

Ballistic missile utilization center in Russia (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Nikolai Moshkov

MOSCOW, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Foreign inspectors have carried out eight inspections in Russia’s territory as part of military transparency measures in the last month, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 TV news channel on Wednesday.

He denied reports of massive Russian troop concentration near the border with Ukraine, calling them an information war.

“We have mechanisms of transparency agreed in Vienna within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). There is the Open Skies Treaty and the 2011 Vienna Document on Transparency and Confidence-building Measures which provide for certain verification procedures,” Antonov said, noting that foreign observers had carried out eight inspections, including 7 near the Russia-Ukraine border, in the past month.

He denied as groundless Western allegations that Russia was building up military forces.

“It is nonsense to say that the nuclear West is disarming while the nuclear Russia is building up forces,” the Russian deputy minister said.

Russia has destroyed more than 2,000 ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles with a range from 500 to 5,500 kilometers; 825 launchers and more than 3,000 nuclear warheads with an aggregate yield of 500,000 tons under the Treaty on Liquidation of Medium-range and Short-range Missiles, Antonov said.

“On conventional arms: NATO has 10,000 tanks while we have only 3,500 tanks. NATO has 22,000 armored vehicles compared to Russia’s 7,500 vehicles. Aren’t the figures speaking for themselves?” the Russian deputy defense minister said.

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