"Russia's occupation of Crimea has led to a sharp increase in the number of conventional weapons and military equipment in the Black Sea region, which exceeds the limits set by the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe," Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Anton Korynevych said during an online meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation.
According to him, long-range missiles on the peninsula can hit the entire southern part of Ukraine and the territories of neighbouring countries: "The security of the Black Sea states, two of which have already suffered from foreign aggression, is under threat."
At the same time, the occupied territories of Ukraine and Georgia have been turned into "grey areas" inaccessible for verification and inspection measures under the CFE Treaty, the Treaty on Open Skies, the Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and other arms control and non-proliferation regimes.
"The actions of the Russian Federation are dominated exclusively by military and political interests in order to turn the occupied Crimea into a military base, along with the Kremlin's intentions to expand beyond the Black Sea," said the President's representative to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
He recalled that the militarization of the peninsula had begun almost immediately after the illegal occupation. This includes, in particular, the deployment of troops, weapons and military equipment to the occupied territory of Ukraine, in particular combat aircraft and missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
"The occupation and further militarization of Crimea has resulted in the expanded use of warships and aircraft in the Black Sea region and far beyond the Mediterranean Basin. Thus, this activity has far-reaching security consequences not only in the Black Sea region but throughout Southern Europe, as well as in North Africa and the Middle East," Korynevych stressed.
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