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EU diplomat says Russia's statements on Crimea events need independent confirmation

August 11, 2016, 19:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Federal Security Service says it has detained a group of Ukrainian saboteurs near the city of Armyansk (Crimea)

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Vygaudas Usackas talking to the press (archive)

Vygaudas Usackas talking to the press (archive)

© AP Photo/Petr David Josek

MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. The European Union would like to have an independent confirmation of Moscow’s statements regarding the recent developments in Crimea, Ambassador of the European Union to the Russian Federation Vygaudas Usackas told Tass on Thursday.

"We have heard the claims by the Russian authorities about the alleged events in Armyansk (Crimea) as well as the statements of the Ukrainian authorities denying any involvement in any such alleged events and condemning in the strongest terms such allegations," the ambassador said.

"It is also important to note that there has been no independent confirmation of the claims made by the Russian authorities. The OSCE SMM (Special Monitoring Mission) in Ukraine does not have access to the peninsula," Vygaudas Usackas said.

"Finally, the EU calls for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, including in eastern Ukraine; all parties - including Russia - must make all-out efforts for the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements," he noted.

"The European Union condemns and doesn't recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation," he said. "We continue to be unwavering in our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine," the ambassador added.

The Russian Federal Security Service said on Wednesday, August 10, that it had detained a group of Ukrainian saboteurs near the city of Armyansk (Crimea) and that it had prevented terrorist attacks in Crimea prepared by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate. The FSB said their planned targets were critically important infrastructure and life support facilities. Twenty improvised explosive devices containing more than 40 kilograms of TNT equivalent, ammunition, fuses, antipersonnel and magnetic bombs, grenades and the Ukrainian armed forces’ standard special weapons were found at the scene, the FSB said.

Russian President Putin called silly and criminal the attempt of a subversive act by the Ukrainian special services in Crimea aimed at distracting attention from Ukraine’s internal problems and from the authorities robbing their people.

Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko and the Foreign Ministry have rejected Moscow’s accusations, calling the alleged saboteurs’ detention a provocation.

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