23 March, 15:56

European inspectors report no Russia’s military build-up on Ukraine border

European inspectors report no Russia’s military build-up on Ukraine border

Watchdogs from several European countries have noticed no indication of a massive build-up of Russian military that would threaten the security of neighboring states, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Sunday.

According to Mr. Antonov, as many as seven inspection groups paid visits to Russian border territories over the past month. “Our facilities and deployment areas along the Russian-Ukrainian border were twice checked by the Ukrainian military,” he noted.

Monitors from the US, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Finland scrutinized Russia’s military camps stationed on its borders with neighboring nations. “It must have been a simple 'coincidence' that the majority of these [missions] focused on the regions near the Ukrainian border,” Mr. Antonov noted.

“We were as transparent as it comes and let our partners inspect all facilities they wanted. We have nothing to hide,” the defense chief pointed out.

The Russian military went as far as allowing EU and NATO watchdogs to interrogate Russian command, takes photos of bases where personnel and military hardware were stationed and accompany them during their routine maneuvers.

“The conclusion that our partners came to after the final briefing, which is a compulsory inspection procedure, was unanimous: Russian armed forces are not involved in any manner of unannounced military maneuvers that would endanger the security of neighboring states,” Antonov underscored.

The Russian deputy defense minister urged Ukrainian and European watchdogs to update their corresponding governments on the actual situation on the Russian borders, saying a clearer picture would certainly de-escalate the situation in the region.

Voice of Russia, RIA

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