VLADIMIR Putin's warships have been dispatched to Crimea's western coastline in response to the start of Ukrainian missile tests nearby, as tensions in the region reach fever pitch.
Ukrainian forces conducted 16 successful launches of S-300 medium-range surface-to-air missiles during the drills, presidential spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko said in a Facebook post.
“The Defense Ministry and the General Staff chief have just reported to the president on today’s drills, which were successfully completed. Sixteen Ukrainian missiles were launched. All of them have reached their targets,” Tsegolko said.
Kryzhanovsky said that there had been no response to the launches from the Russian side. He noted that the missiles will come as close as 30 kilometers to Crimean airspace. The missiles are being launched from a spot some 90 kilometers from Crimea’s shores. The Ukrainian military stressed that its current exercises pose no danger to the residents of the Crimean Peninsula.
Still, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Ukrainian missile tests near Crimea were a "dangerous precedent," as cited by Interfax.
Russian ships from the Black Sea Fleet have taken up positions to the west of the Crimean Peninsula to provide air defense over Russian territory, RIA Novosti news agency reports, citing sources in the military.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree approving the concept of Russia's foreign policy. The document updates and revises key areas, goals, and tasks of the country's foreign policy to reflect the changes on the international arena in the past three years.
Russia's new foreign policy concept calls for the creation of a broad anti-terrorist coalition amid a global terrorist threat posed by Daesh.
"The creation of a broad international anti-terrorist coalition on a solid legal foundation, based on efficient and systematic cooperation, without political maneuvering and double-standard policies…must become a priority [for international community]."
The document says Russia considers the fight against international terrorism as "a very important state task."
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