Ukraine is going to close its border with Russia next week, said Ukraine’s acting defense minister Mikhail Koval on Sunday.
“The military forces jointly with the border guards have already closed 250 kilometers of the Ukrainian-Russian border. It will take several days more to close the entire border,” he said.
“Ukraine’s supreme commander-in-chief, its president has already set clear tasks regarding the closure of the eastern border. We are fulfilling these tasks. Next week we will be through with them. We have practically closed almost 250 kilometers of the state border. Our people are deployed near the state border along with border guards”, added the Defense Minister, according to ITAR-TASS.
If Ukraine unilaterally run the border lines with Russia, it would not be lawful, stressed out the head of the Duma Committee of Foreign Affairs, Alexei Pushkov, commenting on the statements of the Ukrainian Security Council.
“If Kiev is out of the picture: unilateral demarcation of the border does not happen. This is a joint action,” – he wrote in his Twitter.
Therefore, “border drawn by Kiev will not be legitimate”, Pushkov explained.
The National Security Council and Defense of Ukraine authorized the government to conduct a unilateral demarcation of the Ukrainian-Russian border, said yesterday NSDC Secretary Andrew Paruby to journalists after the Security Council meeting chaired by acting President Poroshenko, reports ITAR-TASS.
“The Cabinet was instructed to organize unilateral demarcation of the Ukrainian-Russian border, to ensure its proper engineering arrangement in accordance with today’s threats to national security,” he said.
Ukraine intents to close off its border with Russia in the east, advisor to Ukraine’s minister of the interior Anton Gerashenko said. Earlier the Ukrainian government decided to partially close off the border in the eastern part of the country where the fighting between Ukrainian military and local militia continues unabated. At the moment a total of eight border entry points were shut down.
Ukrainian authorities claim that armed militants enter Ukraine via the Russian border, though Russian officials did not confirm this statement.
“While we should consider other options, the border needs to be shut down immediately. The necessary measures and methods are being evaluated now,” Gerashenko said.
When asked whether the Ukrainian authorities intend to use land mines, he said that it’s risky as “minelaying on Ukrainian territory endangers the lives of Ukrainian citizens and livestock.” He also added that while the national security is paramount, the pros and cons of this particular option need to be considered carefully.
“There are many other options other than using land mines, but they require both time and money, and we don’t have much of either,” Gerashenko said.
Ukrainian dud munitions have been found near the Russian-Ukrainian border in the Rostov region, the Border Guard Department of the Russian Federal Security Service for the Rostov region said in a release issued on Monday.
“Residents of the Russian village of Primiussky, which is located one kilometer from the state border, found three unexploded mines on Sunday after Ukrainian troops used artillery on Ukrainian populated areas located close to the border.
The mines clearly came from the territory of Ukraine and they do not look like WWII-era ammunition,” the report says.
Officials from the Border Guard Department provided appropriate information to their colleagues in the law enforcement agencies. Measures have been taken to prevent people’s presence near the hazardous finds.
Mine disposal experts from the Defense Ministry, the police, and the Russian Investigative Committee have now come to the site.