KIEV, April 2 – RIA Novosti. Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Roman Mashovets, during a meeting with Canadian Ambassador Larisa Galadza, proposed holding joint military exercises of Ukraine and NATO in response to the deteriorating situation in Donbass and the upcoming exercises of Russia and Belarus “West-2021”.
According to the office of the President of Ukraine, the meeting took place on Friday, during which the parties discussed the escalation of the situation in Donbass, as well as the reform of the national security and defense sector of Ukraine. Mashovets said about the threat to Euro-Atlantic security, which, in his opinion, is posed by the large-scale exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus “West-2021”, scheduled for September this year.
“Such actions of the Russian Federation pose a challenge to the security of Ukraine and NATO, this must be balanced by joint efforts,” Mashovets quotes the office of the President of Ukraine.
In his opinion, one of the ways to improve the security situation can be joint activities, including military exercises by Ukraine and NATO. Mashovets believes that such measures should include land, naval and air components. In addition, Mashovets is confident that it is advisable to increase the level of combat readiness of troops in NATO countries bordering Ukraine.
He also told the Ambassador of Canada that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy approved the military security strategy as part of the implementation of the national security strategy. “This is a very important document. We are moving on to the formation of a strategic defense bulletin, a state program for the development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine until 2025 and a defense plan,” Mashovets said. He also informed Galadza about the reform of the military-industrial complex of Ukraine, in particular, about the transformation of the state concern “Ukroboronprom”.
It is noted that, for her part, the Ambassador of Canada drew attention to the importance of establishing proper democratic civilian control over the Armed Forces of Ukraine and, according to her, the adoption of the bills necessary for this will be an important signal for NATO. Galadza also noted that Canada supports Ukraine's efforts to reform the defense and security sector.
Since 2014, Kiev has repeatedly made predictions about the actions of the Russian Armed Forces, including the allegedly planned attacks. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously stated that the Russian Federation is not going to attack anyone. According to him, the Russian threat is “an invention of those who want to profit from their role as a vanguard in the fight against Russia, to receive some bonuses and preferences for this.” Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that Russia is moving troops within its territory and at its own discretion. According to him, this does not threaten anyone and should not worry anyone.
Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the conflict in Donbass, does not supply the militia with military equipment, ammunition and other assistance. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that statements about the presence of the Russian military in Donbass are unsubstantiated – no one has yet been able to present concrete facts, despite repeated accusations.