Ukraine To Hold Missile-Firing Exercise Over Crimea

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:57 AM, November 26, 2016
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Ukraine To Hold Missile-Firing Exercise Over Crimea
"Buk" anti-aircraft battery launches a ground-to-air missile during Ukrainian army's "Duel-99" military exercises at Chauda firing ground in the Crimean peninsula in 1999

Ukraine has taken a unilateral decision to organize missile-firing exercises over Crimea, which Russia claims to be the Federation's sovereign airspace.

Missiles would be fired in regions where civil and state aviation flights run, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviatsiya reported.

Apart from invading Russian territory, the Ukraine’s move violates many international laws and agreements. Moreover, kiev did not even coordinate with Moscow before planning, Russia Today reported Friday.

The Russian military, on Friday, objected to Ukraine’s plan of restricting airspace above black sea and Crimea Peninsula for missile launching training. The ministry also summoned Ukraine’s military attaché to present him with an official diplomatic note.

Ukraine released an aviation notification on Thursday, activating "dangerous zones" in all flight levels near Crimea and the city of Simferopol for December 1 and 2, the agency reported.

The “dangerous” areas included airspace above open sea which is in Russia's area of responsibility, and over Russian territorial waters, the aviation agency reported.

Kiev has also violated annexes of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation and also demanded immediate cancellation of the planned actions in Russia's sovereign airspace.

Responding to the Russian aviation agency's statement, the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Aleksandr Turchinov said, "Russia's airspace above the Black Sea ends in the middle of the Kerch Strait and Kiev does not plan to perform training missile launches "in that region.”

But "all the remaining territory to the west of the Kerch Strait is Ukraine's sovereign airspace," Turchinov said, denying implicitly the legitimacy of the 2014 referendum, after which Crimea reunited with Russia.

The planned missile-launch exercises are "potentially dangerous for civil aviation," It could result into tragedies similar to those with Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 and the downing of a Russian passenger plane over the Black Sea in 2001.

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