: Russia's Latest Military Hub: Is Crimea turning into a counter-NATO base?

17:07 Jun. 15, 2016

Russia's Latest Military Hub: Is Crimea turning into a counter-NATO base?

People walk by fresh graffiti depicting Vladimir Putin in Simferopol on August 17, 2015 in Simferopol, Crimea. (Getty Images)

Ukraine's Security Official says Kremlin mulls confrontation with alliance

Russia's increasing placement of weapons in Crimea aims directly at the confrontation with NATO countries, not with Ukraine. This is according to the Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine [NSDC] Oleksandr Lytvynenko.

Read also Chubarov: Russia turns Crimea into strong military base

‘The nature of the weapons deployed in Crimea, and the forces that are stationed near the border, are aimed not at the confrontation with Ukraine, but with the NATO countries,' Lytvynenko said.

He stressed that there are new guided missile systems, new submarines and modern ships on the peninsula. The constant training of the Russian military forces in the occupied Crimea are ‘aimed at solving the tasks, that were handled in Crimea since the Soviet times, that is the deformation of the borders, and attacking the ports of the NATO members,' Lytvynenko stated during the meeting of NATO-Ukraine Interparliamentary Council in Kyiv.

Bulgaria and Romania top the list of the most vulnerable countries, according to the Deputy Secretary of NSDC.

Russian officials did not comment on the NSDC representative's statement. Since the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, Moscow regularly conducts military drills there.

On February 20, 2014, Ukraine's Parliament officially proclaimed the beginning of the temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia.

Read also NATO steps up its support for Ukraine

The international organizations deemed Crimea occupation and annexation as illegal and condemned the actions of Russia. As a result, the Western countries introduced a number of sanctions against Russia. Russia denied to acknowledge the occupation of the peninsula and in its turn labeled it as a ‘restoration of the historical justice'.

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