Briefing, June 17th, 2014
On June 16th, the Ukrainian MFA sent a note in response to the note of the Russian MFA of June 14th regarding the so-called violation of the Ukrainian-Russian border by the armoured car of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Russian note followed a mass misinformation campaign in the Russian mass media in the familiar style of the Russian propaganda. Individual mass media and even Russian officials reported on the so-called invasion of several Ukrainian armoured personnel carriers on the territory of Russia of up to 100 kilometres. Later it turned out that they were not armoured personnel carriers but armoured cars, and not 100 kilometres but 100 metres, and not an invasion but an accidental entry during manoeuvring when pursuing the terrorists.
In light of this, we stated that on June 14th, at the Marynivka checkpoint of the Ukrainian-Russian state border, a border-representation meeting took place, at which both parties discussed the fact of the accidental border crossing on June 13th, 2014 near the village of Kuybyshevo of the Ukrainian-Russian state border by a Ukrainian armoured car in our response note to the Russian side. The aforementioned officials of Ukraine and the Russian Federation documented the according protocol, in which both sides concluded that the noted instance of border crossing is not considered a border incident, in light of the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers lost orientation on location during their mission in the border region on Ukrainian territory.
According to the results of the aforementioned meeting of the border services, the Ukrainian side considers the incident as exhausted.
Besides, we have noted that the incident happened because of the non-constructive position of the Russia side regarding practical steps for the demarcation works at the Ukrainian-Russian state border and the lack of demarcation signs on location, which are prescribed by the Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation regarding the demarcation of the Ukrainian-Russian state border.
On its part, the Ukrainian side emphasised the fact that the Russian side ignored the demands regarding employment of effective means with the goal of preventing systematic clear violations of the regime of the Ukrainian-Russian state border from the territory of the Russian Federation.
In particular, the Russian side’s attention was drawn to the illegal invasion on June 13th of the Ukrainian airspace by four helicopters of the Russian Armed Forces: two Mi-35 helicopters at the dept of up to four kilometres between the towns of Chervoniy Zhovten and Marynivka, as well as two Mi-35 helicopters of up to three kilometres around the Marynivka checkpoint at the Ukraine-Russian state border.
It is emphasised that the overt support of the Russian Federation of the activities of the illegal terrorists groups on Ukrainian territory looks especially cynical.
Thus, on June 12th, 2014 instances of illegal movement of military tanks and other military equipment from the territory of the Russian Federation through the Ukrainian-Russian state border towards the town of Snizhne of DonetskOblast have been documented. The competent bodies also documented the infiltration of Ukrainian territory by BM-21 “Grad” armoured cars, which are part of the Russian Federation Armed Forces.
Besides, on June 13th, 2014, six Russian helicopters landed near the towns of Diakove and Bobrikove on Ukrainian territory with the goal to remove a group of mercenaries from the anti-terrorist operation zone to the territory of the Russian Federation.
The Ukrainian MFA note includes a demand for the Russian side to immediately halt illegal actions of the military, material, and other forms of support of terrorist organisations, particularly the self-proclaimed “PRD” and “PRL,” as well as the support of separatism and extremist activities, including the movement of Russian armed sabotage groups and persons through the Ukrainian-Russian state border.
In this light I would like to clarify our position in the context of the NSDC’s decision made yesterday regarding the unilateral demarcation of the Ukrainian-Russian border and further slightly neurotic statements made by the Russian official representatives made in this regard.
Unfortunately, the Russian side is consciously blocking the process of demarcation which, as you may recall, began on November 7th, 2012 with the opening of the first border sign near the junction of the state borders of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
Therefore the Ukrainian side is completely justified in actions which do not contradict the current bilateral Ukrainian-Russian agreements in border issue, particularly the unilateral demarcation of the line of state borders on our territory on grounds of the Description Protocol of state border line passage and the Album of topographical maps of the state border between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, which is an integral part of the Agreement between Ukraine and the RF regarding the state border.
By the way, such an approach has been used numerous times by the Russian Federation during the demarcation of the state borders with Estonia, Lithuania and Georgia. Therefore any protests regarding this on Russia’s part are an undeniable testament to their usage of double standards.
Translated by Mariya Shcherbinina, edited by Alya Shandra