GENEVA, September 17. /TASS/. Ukraine’s military activity supported from abroad, in particular its military exercises with aggressive scenarios and the involvement of NATO forces, has a destabilizing impact on the region, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, said at a session of the Conference on Disarmament on Wednesday.
The Russian diplomat focused on "the politicized commentary of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry dated by August 12 on ‘allegedly deliberate steps aimed at escalation’ in the Black Sea", underscoring that in fact, Kiev had bolstered military activity in the region.
Ukraine "conducts exercises with aggressive scenarios and involvement of NATO forces, as well as vigorously upgrades military infrastructure, builds up military capabilities and tests new weapons systems," he said.
"Moreover, Kiev makes no secret of the fact that those systems are aimed at fighting against Russia," the diplomat stated.
Gatilov pointed out that "the Ukrainian side’s military activity backed from outside definitely destabilizes the situation and demonstrates disregard for the commitments under the OSCE military and political agreements."
The Russian ambassador called on the Black Sea littoral states "to get back to full-scale cooperation within BLACKSEAFOR (the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group), Operation Black Sea Harmony and the confidence-and security-building measures in the Black Sea."
"Instead of spiraling up political intrigues, Kiev should have concentrated on implementation of own commitments under the Minsk ‘Package of Measures’, to immediately stop a punitive operation against the civilian population in Donbass, withdraw the weapons to designated storage sites, to disarm illegal groups and to pull the foreign military hardware and mercenaries out of Ukraine’s territory," the diplomat said.
"We call on our counterparts to abandon attempts aimed at demonizing Russia’s military activity in the Black Sea," Gatilov said recalling that since the times when Crimea was part of Ukraine, the quality of Russian military presence in the region has not changed.
"Naturally, we upgrade hardware with regard to the expansion of NATO infrastructure towards Russian borders. However, our efforts are absolutely comparable to actual demands in the context of defense and security," the Russian diplomat concluded.