Russian authorities confirmed on Thursday that the maneuvers Ukraine and NATO will carry out near the frontline areas in the east of the country are “a direct armed provocation” after Moscow denounced the organization’s aim to deliver advanced weapons to Kiev under the same.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Alexandr Lukashevich, has criticized reports of British and Danish combat units being stationed in the area near the line of contact in the region.
“The question is: What for? Especially when the exercises are already being carried out very close to the conflict area in Donbass,” he emphasized in a statement to the Russian news agency Sputnik and emphasized that “in preparation for the military maneuvers” deliveries and trainers continue to arrive in Ukraine. “
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said last week that NATO plans to “use these maneuvers as camouflage to deliver modern weapons, ammunition and other materials to Ukrainian troops,” some of which are intended for “nationalist groups”.
In eastern Ukraine, conflicts have been going on for years due to the tensions between Ukraine and Russia. In the case of Crimea, Russia annexed this territory in 2014 before the population included it in a referendum, while the Donbas region has been experiencing an armed conflict for years, confronting Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists.
The Minsk Agreements, signed in September 2014 and February 2015, laid the foundations for a political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, but have not yet led to an end to the violence. According to United Nations estimates, around 13,000 people have died in the fighting so far.