19:51 GMT04 December 2020
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    Crimea considers Kiev's moves as an attempt to disturb the situation along the border.

    SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) – Ukraine is increasing the military presence of government forces near its borders with Russia's Republic of Crimea, the head of Crimea’s government committee for inter-ethnic relations, Zaur Smirnov told Sputnik Thursday.

    "Kiev is building up military presence near our borders. Several drills, engaging different military groups, have taken place over the past month. We regard it as an attempt to disturb the situation along the border," Smirnov said.

    The Ukrainian army plans to hold another training exercise near the border with Crimea later in the week, Smirnov added, citing the data gained from his sources.

    Smirnov noted Kiev’s move would not threaten Crimea’s citizens, who are reliably protected, and would not deter tourists from visiting the peninsula.

    Smirnov also stressed that the tourists from Ukraine were welcome in the peninsula.

    The referendum on Crimea rejoining Russia was held in March 2014 with the overwhelming majority of the Crimean population, 97 percent, supporting the reunification. However, Kiev and the West are yet to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.


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    Zaur Smirnov, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia
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