12:36 May. 19, 2016
Moscow claims to have acted in terms of legal law according to bilateral treaty with Kyiv
Russia promptly sent 9,000 soldiers to Crimea in March 2014 before annexation. This is according to Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov.
The troops were re-deployed to the peninsula by air. The official claims though the military operation Russia conducted was absolutely legal.
"According to the bilateral Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet between Ukraine and Russia, signed in 1997, Russian Federation was entitled to military presence in Sevastopol, at the permanent Russian fleet base, and overall in Crimea. The soldiers' number had not to exceed 25,000 individuals," said Chizhov.
Before Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, there were 16,000 Russian troops deployed on the peninsula. Thus, insists Russian diplomat, sending 9,000 soldiers was in terms of regular reinforcement.
Vladimir Chizhov denies Kremlin participation in fueling the war in eastern Ukraine by sending regular armed forces to Donbas region. Speaking on Russia's wrongdoings in its foreign policy the official insists the only mistake done is being too compliant to its Western neighbours.