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Russia allows Ukrainian surveillance flight to confirm no troops near border

Published time: March 12, 2014 14:11
Edited time: March 12, 2014 15:13
An Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 jet fighter (Reuters / Stringer)

An Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 jet fighter (Reuters / Stringer)

In a confidence-building step, Russia’s Defense Ministry has given permission for a surveillance flight by Ukraine over Russian territory near the border between the countries. Kiev had claimed Moscow was building up its military presence there.

“The Ukrainians have asked for an unscheduled observation flight over our territory,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters in Moscow.

Russia and Ukraine are entitled to surveillance flights over each other's territories following the Open Skies treaty signed in 1992, but Antonov said that Kiev had never asked for one before, and that Moscow was "under no obligation" to allow it immediately.

“We have decided to allow such a flight. We hope that our neighbors are assured that there is no military activity that threatens them on the border.”

Antonov vehemently denied a statement Tuesday by Igor Tenyukh, defense minister for the Kiev coup-appointed government, that Russia had amassed more than 220,000 troops, 1,800 tanks and over 400 helicopters in regions adjacent to eastern Ukraine.

“Ukrainian military officials know full well that the entire [Russian] Southern and Western Military Districts put together don’t have that much equipment. The only way you could arrive at that number of soldiers would be if you counted their families,” Antonov said.

"I would dissuade Mr Tenyukh from adding fuel to the fire of the crisis, which is what he appears to be doing. He openly outlined the reasons for this himself, when he asked the Ukrainian parliament to issue him with more funding," continued the Russian official.

Antonov added that continuing mass training exercises in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev began this week, could plunge Ukraine into even deeper turmoil.

“Staging exercises in an area that is gripped by mass protests against the new regime which came to power as a result of a coup is a risky endeavor, which could further destabilize the political situation in Ukraine,” Antonov insisted.

Comments (195)


Sam 17.03.2014 14:19

We appreciate and history will record as Putin bends backwards for world peace, and militants are going to lose in the long run, and history will record them as agents of ZIONISM and Hitlarians FASCISTS!


Alex Y 14.03.2014 08:28

kacapkacapov 13.03.2014 11:31

That what you say bout us media is ridiculous. Remember Watergate?


Yo u have to distinguish these two political categories for US media: domestic and foreign. The US media is usually better balanced on domestic affairs (though generally more on the republican side) but uniform on foreign ones out of naked and often short-sighted American interest. Hey even Americans gave CNN the nickname ‘Communist News Network’ – because they believe that’s how communist state media runs.
I can't comment on Russian media but RT helps me see a fuller story


George W.Reichel 13.03.2014 14:37

Anyone who has lived for an appreciable time knows that we never get the truth about anything from the government.9/11,JFK asassination,Ruby Ridge,Oklahoma City bombing,etc.And we're not hearing the truth concerning our starting this mess in Ukraine.

View all comments (195)
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