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Russia to decide on its own what military presence to have in Crimea — diplomat

March 16, 2015, 13:59 UTC+3
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov commented on a statement by EU foreign ministers who expressed concern over a military build-up in Crimea
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© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Russia is in the position to make a decision on its own what military presence to have in Crimea, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said on Monday commenting on a statement by EU foreign ministers who expressed concern over a military build-up in Crimea.

"Crimea is Russian land and Russia is free to make decisions on its own what military presence to have there," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin  in an interview with the authors of a documentary about Crimea said Coastal antimissile systems Bastion were deployed to protect Crimea, and it was done in such a way that they were seen pwell from outer space.

Tthe head of the Foreign Ministry's non-proliferation department last week said Russia can deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea as the peninsula is part of its territory. "We regard Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. Of Course, Russia has a right to deploy nuclear weapons in its territory if necessaey," Ulyanov said.

The Russian Strategic Missile Forces commander Colonel-Geenral Sergey Karakayev said in December that Russia has no intention of deploying Strategic Missile Force units in Crimea.

"This is not necessary," he said. "The range of modern ballistic missiles allows to hit targets in any part of the globe without approaching Russia's borders."

"All missile complexes are deployed deep within Russia where they are protected from the enemy's destruction weapons," Karakayev said.

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