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Ukrainian "wall" on border with Russia not to last long - federal agency

November 05, 2014, 22:55 UTC+3 ARMYANSK
“We understand that money is being assimilated. There are billions there, and who will check how much earth was dug and taken away?” Busygin said
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Konstantin Busygin, head of Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border Facilities (Rosgranitsa)

Konstantin Busygin, head of Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border Facilities (Rosgranitsa)

© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Karpov

ARMYANSK, November 5. /TASS/. The “wall” on the border between Ukraine and Russia, whose construction was initiated by Ukrainian politicians, will not last long, the head of Russia’s federal border agency said Wednesday.

“From the viewpoint of economics and politics, in my view, this is an unnecessary step,” Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border Facilities (Rosgranitsa) head Konstantin Busygin told journalists during an examination of the Armyansk border crossing point in Crimea.

“We understand that money is being assimilated. There are billions there, and who will check how much earth was dug and taken away?” Busygin said.

“At a certain point, Germany was divided by a wall. And this one [in Ukraine], even if it’s built, it’s all the same temporary, it will be broken sooner or later,” he said.

Nikolai Bordyuzha, the secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a regional security body, said in late October in Vienna at a round table dedicated to security threats that the “Wall” project does not provide proper security. He also said the project could aim at “secretly withdrawing money from the budget.”

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said September 3 that Ukraine is starting to build a fortified 2,295-kilometer border with Russia. In line with the project dubbed “Wall”, a ditch 4 meters wide and 2 meters deep will be dug on the land border with Russia.

The ditch will be supplemented with optical-electronic surveillance systems, watchtowers and other facilities. Remote control systems will be installed at the sea border. Yatsenyuk said the overall expenditures on the program will total 66 million euros ($82.4 million).

Ukraine has been in deep crisis since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovich suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union. The move triggered mass riots that eventually led to a coup in February 2014.

The coup that brought chaos to Ukraine prompted the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with a special status to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of coup-imposed authorities, hold a referendum and secede from Ukraine to reunify with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.

After that, mass protests erupted in Ukraine’s southeast, where local residents, apparently inspired by Crimea's example, did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities either, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.

Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine’s southeast, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, has killed thousands of people, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

Businessman and politician Pyotr Poroshenko won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine. Poroshenko had funded anti-government protests that led to the February coup.

The parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

The West subjected Russia to sanctions, including visa bans, asset freezes and sectoral restrictions, following Crimea’s incorporation by Russia and the start of clashes in Ukraine’s southeast that the West and Kiev claimed Moscow was involved in despite Russia’s repeated denials.

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