On the eve of the referendum on the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 Russia has deployed to the Peninsula 9 thousand servicemen, said in an interview with Deutsche Welle, Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov. He stressed that the military was in Crimea in accordance with official agreements with Ukraine.
photo: Gennady Cherkasov
Chizhov confirmed in an interview with Deutsche Welle that the referendum in Crimea was conducted in the presence of Russian troops, but the military were there legally.
“In accordance with the bilateral agreement between Russia and Ukraine of 1997, Russia was granted the right to military presence in Sevastopol, where the main base of the black sea fleet of the Russian Federation and all over the Crimea in an amount of not more than 25 thousand people of the personnel”, – he explained.
Chizhov said that on the Peninsula has housed 16 thousand Russian soldiers. To fill the “gap” up to the permitted number of aircraft in the Crimea were sent another 9 thousand people.
The Ambassador denied the presence of Russian army in the South-East of Ukraine, noting that the detainees in the Donbas Russians Aleksandr Erofeev and Evgeny Aleksandrov, which in Kiev is considered the “GRU soldiers”, were not military force.
In response to the comment that it is supposedly only a question of drafting, Chizhov said: “you Know, it’s hard to prove something in the case, where the lost evidence, and the lawyer of one of accused killed in Ukraine”. The diplomat was referring to the murder of lawyer Yury Alexandrov Grabovsky.
Participation in the annexation of Crimea “polite people” in April 2014, told the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Their goal was to maintain a peaceful environment on the Peninsula and ensure the free will of the Crimean people. “Behind the Crimean self-defence forces, of course, Russian servicemen did. They acted very correctly, but, as I’ve already said decisively and professionally,” the President said.
EU countries do not recognize the annexation of Crimea to Russia. The Council of the Italian region of Veneto has recognized the results of the Crimean referendum, however, its resolution is only Advisory in nature.
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