16:15 Nov. 30, 2016
Ukraine is not going to cancel drills near Crimea following Russian threats
Threats cannot thwart Ukraine's plans concerning military exercises, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on ATO issues Andriy Lysenko told a Kyiv briefing Wednesday, answering a question on Russia's alleged threats to conduct a missile strike if Ukraine pursued with its plans to hold missile exercises near the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea.
"Ukraine is a sovereign law-governed state. All military exercises and tests are held according to a strict schedule. Everything related to international treaties and warnings are performed by Ukraine in accordance with these rules. And everything that has been scheduled will certainly be executed..." Lysenko said.
The official added that "as for some threats, etc., these cannot interfere with the plans that the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the designers of weapons will be implementing in the territory of a sovereign Ukraine".
Asked to clarify how Ukraine would act in case Russia started shooting down Ukrainian missiles and engaging launchers, he stressed that "we have a national territory of Ukraine, where we will carry out all examinations, as well as battle-tests, as well as training, and no one will tell us what to do here".
As reported earlier, on December 1-2, Ukraine's Air Force plans to hold scientific research drills in the south of the country.
The exercise will involve missile launches. The Air Force said that the launches will take place exclusively within Ukrainian airspace over the open sea and be carried out in strict accordance with international law.
According to some media reports, Moscow threatens Kyiv with a retaliatory missile strike if Ukraine executes test missile launches in the area of the Russian-Ukrainian border in Crimea.