Ukraine is indeed not happy with Russia’s recent plans. The nation’s foreign ministry condemned Russia’s plans to deploy an additional missile to the annexed Crimean peninsula. The S-400 surface-to-air missile would be the fourth to be used. Russia’s plans come amid a deepening war with Kiev.
Vadim Astafiyev stated that the deployment of the S-400 missiles to Crimea would happen soon. The Russian southern military spokesman spoke to Interfax news agency regarding the matter. He also added that reports by Russia’s RIA news agency highlighted that the system should be operational by the end of the year.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry’s political director, Olexiy Makeyev, told Al Jazeera that the development was dangerous. He said that it posed a danger not only for Ukraine alone but also for the entire Black Sea area. “The system’s operational range is up to 400km, so it places all literal states in the Black Sea region, including NATO members under the threat of an attack. We know that the missiles can also be used for ground targets,” he stated.
Makeyev revealed that Moscow has been militarizing Crimea for a while. This is by bringing in new weapon systems inclusive of nuclear-capable aircraft and missiles as well as military experts. He said that this militarization imposed severe consequences in the Black Sea area and the whole of southern Europe. The political director also mentioned North Africa and part of the Middle East among the areas that will face danger.
Ukraine and Russia are currently at loggerheads. The tensions heightened last week after a move by the Russian border patrol. The patrol blocked the route of three Ukrainian military vessels. The vessels were traveling from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait.
The arrest of twenty-four crew members and seizure of the ships resulted in international condemnation of Moscow’s actions. President Trump aired out his views on the matter as well. He threatened to cancel his meeting with Putin that took place over the weekend. As of last Wednesday, a Russian court in Crimea delegated 60-day detention of the 24 captured Ukrainian crew members.