Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov says that Ukraine was ready to counter any Russian provocation during the testing of new Ukrainian missiles near Russia-occupied Crimea, according to Ukrainian news portal Liga.net.
He said that had Russia launched missile bombardment of Ukrainian missile launchers amid the drills, an appropriate response would have followed, Liga.net wrote.
”We would have defended the country. There had been no other option. We would have acted according to the situation. Several scenarios had been worked out. We were ready to counter any provocation. For example, presently, the Russian regime is massing its troops not only in Crimea, but along the entire border with Ukraine. At any time, they can cross the border and launch an offensive. We must be prepared,” Turchynov said.
In his words, Ukraine does not see appeasement as an option.
”There is no way to go back, we`ve got no alternative but to defend our country. We will be fighting. The Russians are well aware of that. The situation is different now – it`s not the beginning of 2014. They won`t be able to invade Ukraine and get away with it. They understand that in case of a full-scale military operation, their losses will be much higher than their gains,” he said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine conducted the testing of new surface-to-air missiles and held Air Force drills in the south on December 1-2.
The Ukrainian authorities repeatedly announced that the event was in accordance with international commitments and treaties, as Ukraine conducted the exercises within its sovereign airspace.
Prior to the event, media reported citing sources at Ukraine`s Defense Ministry that Moscow had threatened to launch missile bombardment if the missile tests had been held close to the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula.