MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. The possible deployment of a European Union’s military training mission to Ukraine will give rise to numerous questions whereas Brussels should better be more focused on Kiev’s implementation of the Minsk agreements, a senior Russian lawmaker said on Monday.
"If it comes to the deployment of an EU military training mission to Ukraine, it will give rise to numerous questions," Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the international committee of Russia’s outgoing State Duma, or lower parliament house, wrote on his Telegram channel. "Who will European instructors ‘teach’ against and who will be their ‘pupils’? Hiding behind the mythical ‘Russian aggression,’ they may turn Ukraine into a testing ground for new armed provocations against Russia much to the delight of all sorts of Russophobes."
"If Europe were really concerned about Ukraine’s security, European officials should have drawn attention to the ongoing conflict in Donbass and Kiev’s dodging of the implementation of the Minsk agreements," he noted. "Moreover, the Western partners should bear in mind that as a sovereign state Russia has the right to conduct drills on its own territory to maintain its army’s combat readiness. Moscow violates no international commitments and any attempts to use it as a justification of the deployment of military missions in neighboring countries will look like an invention."
"They should better focus their efforts on peaceful goals, for instance, help Kiev implement the Minsk agreements rather than push the Ukrainian authorities to escalate the conflict in the southeast," Slutsky stressed.
Germany’s Welt am Sonntag reported on October 3 citing a European External Action Service’s in-house document that the European Union was looking at deploying an independent military training mission to Ukraine as a "manifestation of solidarity with Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing activities at the border" and over the situation with Crimea. EEAS spokesperson Nabila Massrali said on Monday that the EU was considering ways of strengthening Ukraine’s stability and possible support measures.