In Crimea, Aug 11, 2016

Explosives found on Ukrainian saboteurs arrested in Crimea on Aug 6, 2016 (photo by Russian federal police)

Explosives found on Ukrainian saboteurs arrested in Crimea on Aug 6, 2016 (photo by Russian federal police)

The deputy chairman of the Crimean government, Ruslan Balbek, has said that Ukraine should immediately be excluded from the United Nations and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe because no respectable international organization can have member nations that launch attacks against foreign civilians.

“We call upon all civilized nations to find a unified position and not only denounce the Ukrainian authorities but without any delay exclude Ukraine from the UN and OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe]. These organizations must maintain security in the world and oppose aggression against civilian populations, such as the one currently made by the Kyiv authorities,” Balbek was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Ruslan Balbec, Vice Premier of the Crimean Republic of the Russian Federation

Ruslan Balbec, Vice Premier of the Crimean Republic of the Russian Federation

“The food blockade and destruction of electricity mains were just a warm-up. No one cared in Kyiv how people would live here and if children would freeze in winter – they had a single goal to make Crimea residents regret the choice they had made [to become part of Russia]. But all these steps only united the residents of our peninsula,” the official added.

The comments came shortly after the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that on the past weekend it had successfully prevented several terrorist attacks in Crimea planned by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s intelligence agency.

According to the FSB, its operatives detained several infiltrators planning to blow up a highway in the region as motorcades with local officials and federal authorities would be driving along it. Explosive devices and ammunition used by the Ukrainian Army’s special forces were discovered at the scene, while more attempts by Ukrainian raiding and terrorist groups to break through were prevented by Russian forces this week, the FSB said.

Kyiv has rejected the FSB report of a foiled terrorist plot, and instead accused Moscow of provocation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the FSB report, saying that Kyiv has turned to the “practice of terrorism.” Ukraine is “playing a dangerous game,” Putin told reporters on August 10, adding that these actions were “stupid and criminal.”

The Russian leader also said any talks with Ukraine’s current authorities had become pointless after the plans to launch attacks had been uncovered. “I think it’s obvious that Kiev’s current authorities are not seeking ways to solve problems through negotiations, but have turned to terrorism,” Putin said, adding that this new development was alarming. He also promised to discuss the issue with Russia’s American and European partners.

The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany were scheduled to have talks in the so-called “Normandy Format” on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 summit in China.


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