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MOSCOW, August 2 (Itar-Tass) - Russia's Foreign Ministry on Saturday accused the European Union of withdrawing a ban on supplying Ukraine with military technology and equipment "on the quiet."
"During a recent meeting of the Council of Europe in Brussels, leaders of EU member states agreed 'on the quiet' to remove restrictions on exports to Kiev of equipment that could be used for internal repression," the ministry said in a statement. "Exports of military technologies and equipment were also allowed."
The ministry also called on the 28-nation EU not to be "goaded" by Washington over events in east Ukraine, where Ukrainian government forces are continuing a military operation.
The European Union's decision to lift restrictions on exports of military equipment to Ukraine reflects double standards, the ministry said.
The restrictions were imposed by the EU Council on February 20 when Viktor Yanukovich was in power as president, and a tough confrontation continued between armed radical nationalists and factually unarmed police at Maidan in Kiev. At the time, the
European Union believed it was not right to supply arms and military equipment for Yanukovich's regime.
Now, despite current Kiev authorities' military operation in the southeast of the country, the EU has decided to allow export of military equipment in full to Ukraine, the ministry said.
It is clear why the EU keeps silent over irrefutable facts of shelling of Russia's territory from Ukraine. "Prospects to feel own involvement in such actions perhaps creates some discomfort in Brussels."
The decision does not only show double standards, but it is contrary to the EU rules of control over export of military technologies and equipment.
The rules were approved by the EU Council on December 8, 2008 and defined standards and a code of behavior as minimal requirements to regulate supply of military products. Point Three of the rules calls for giving no license for export of a military technology and equipment that can provoke or prolong an armed conflict or aggravate tension or a conflict in the country where it is used. Point Two stipulates that supplied arms must not be used for repressions in the country.
It is obvious that to achieve doubtful political goals, Brussels is ready not only to ignore how Kiev fulfils its international obligations, but also violate regulations of its own documents, the ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry urged EU colleagues to follow sound logic, but not considerations of the situation and not to be "goaded" by Washington.
"A decision to ban supply of arms and special equipment to Ukraine was needed after the beginning of the "antiterrorist" operation in Donbass and the Lugansk regions. But it is not late now to resume the ban," the ministry said, adding "Without it, the European Union's responsibility for continuing bloodshed in the southeast of Ukraine will increase."