Ukraine Military Ends Guided Missile Tests Near Crimea Amid Russia’s Protests

 

 Ukrainian missile complexes launch medium range guided missiles during military drills in southern Kherson region bordering Crimea, Ukraine, December 1, 2016

 

    Ukraine has announced an end to its missile drills near Crimea.

   KIEV (Sputnik) — The Ukrainian Armed Forces have wrapped up surface-to-air missile tests in southern Ukraine, Chief of General Staff Gen. Viktor Muzhenko said Friday.

   “Flight and control tests of anti-aircraft guided missiles are successfully completed. The armed forces have taken an important step in increasing their combat capability and gaining opportunities to protect their state,” Muzhenko wrote on his Facebook page.

   Russia’s air transport agency Rosaviatsia said last week that Ukraine unilaterally decided to hold missile firing exercises near Crimea’s Simferopol on December 1-2 in violation of international agreements.

   Moscow repeatedly called Kiev’s missile launches in the Black Sea a threat to the safety of Russian civilian flights to Crimea and a provocation. Russian aviation authorities also informed the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) about the tests, so far without a response.

   The Russian Defense Ministry summoned Ukraine’s defense attache last week to serve a note protesting Kiev illegally restricting the use of airspace over the Black Sea during the missile firing drills near Crimea.

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