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Ukraine gives Russia 48 hours to explain exercises

Source: Reuters - Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:51 GMT
Author: Reuters
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KIEV, April 24 (Reuters) - Ukraine has asked Moscow, under European OSCE security arrangements, to explain and give details of its military exercises near the border within 48 hours, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

In a statement in response to remarks by the Russian defence minister earlier in the day announcing exercices linked to tension in Ukraine, the ministry said Russia was trying to influence Kiev's efforts to fight militants in the east.

It said that under the Vienna Document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) it was entitled to an account of the goals and other details of the exercises within 48 hours of its request - namely noon GMT on Saturday.

"Conducting Russian exercises close to the Ukrainian border cannot but raise concerns, especially after the recent declaration by the Russian foreign minister, containing an unambiguous hint about the possibility of Russian troops entering Ukrainian territory," the ministry said. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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