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Moscow slams ‘useless’ and ‘provocative’ attempts to inspect Crimea as part of Ukraine

The statement came in the wake of US Department of State’s report on arms control and non-proliferation

MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. Attempts to inspect the Russian region of Crimea as part of Ukraine are useless and provocative, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement came in the wake of Friday’s release of a US Department of State’s report, headlined Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments (Compliance Report).

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, while assessing the compliance with the 2011 Vienna Document (VD11) on confidence-building and security measures, the United States regularly accuses Russia of selective implementation and lack of transparency.

"As far as the accusations of ‘occupation,’ ‘annexation’ of Crimea and deployment of troops there, repeatedly made in the context of the Vienna document (similarly with the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty), are concerned, the peninsula’s reunification with Russia was a result of a free expression of will by its multinational population, and the current status of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of the Russian Federation has been determined once and for all and is not up for discussion," the ministry said.

"Therefore, Russia is free to deploy troops and military equipment on its territory, and attempts to inspect the territory of Crimea as part of an inspection of Ukraine are provocative and useless. Naturally, at the same time Russia is ready to accept inspectors, observers and assessment groups in Crimea should it receive relevant requests under the Vienna Document," it added.

At the same time, Washington’s report fails to mention the fact that Kiev has not yet fulfilled its commitments under the Vienna Document with regard to its military operation in eastern Ukraine.

"By groundlessly accusing Russia of arming and training separatists in eastern Ukraine and engaging in joint military actions alongside them, the US and NATO countries have seriously discredited the role of VD11 as an instrument of unbiased control of military activities of the OSCE member states. In that regard, we stress once again that Russia is not a party to the military conflict in Ukraine," the statement says.