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No bans exist on Russia’s deployment of certain weapons in Crimea — envoy to NATO

May 15, 2015, 16:27 UTC+3
"We are not violating anything," Russia’s envoy to NATO said
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© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. There are no international bans that may prohibit Russia from deploying certain types of weapons in Crimea, Russia’s envoy to NATO, Alexander Grushko, has said.

"Everything that we have been doing is fully in line with the international obligations," the diplomat said. "We are not violating anything. There are no bans that might prevent us from deploying certain types of weapons there (in Crimea), he said.

Grushko declared "we will be building up our force in Crimea in a piece meal fashion proceeding from the fact the NATO countries are increasing their activity and deploying new potentials near our borders."

EU foreign ministers have recently expressed concern over military build-up in Crimea. Russian officials reacted with criticism saying Moscow can decide on military presence in Crimea as it's Russian territory.

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. Besides, the head of the Foreign Ministry's non-proliferation department last week said Russia can deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu previously announced the formation of Russia’s self-sufficient group of forces in Crimea. According to him, almost 100 troop groups, military units and organizations were deployed on the peninsula. "On presidential orders we were instructed to deploy a self-sufficient combined group of forces in the Crimean Peninsula capable of effectively protecting the interests of Russia in this area. That task had been fulfilled by the end of 2014. A corresponding report was presented to the supreme commander-in-chief. Ninety six units and organizations were formed," Shoigu said in late March. In particular, he said, "last year, forces of the Black Sea, Northern and Baltic Fleets comprising six warships ensured the Russian Navy’s permanent presence in the Mediterranean."

Russian presidential envoy in the Crimean Federal District Oleg Belaventsev said that the peninsula would be turned into "an unassailable fortress."

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