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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Moscow Says EU 'Quietly' Lifts Ban on Military Equipment Supplies to Kiev

RIA Novosti

15:10 02/08/2014

MOSCOW, August 2 (RIA Novosti) – The EU member states have agreed "behind the back" to lift restrictions on supplying Kiev with military equipment that may be used for internal repressions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

"We noticed that at the recent meeting at the European Council in Brussels the leaders of the EU member states "quietly" agreed to lift the restrictions on the exports of equipment to Ukraine that may be used for internal repressions. The export of military technologies and equipment has been also allowed," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the move is 'pierced' by double standards and runs counter to the rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment adopted by the EU Council on December 8, 2008.

In particular, Russian diplomats stressed that one of the provisions "urges not to grant a license for exports of military technology or equipment, which could trigger or prolong an armed conflict or aggravate existing tensions in the country of final destination."

The Russian Foreign Ministry urged Brussels to reinstate the ban on supplies of military equipment to Ukraine. "Without this [move] the responsibility of the European Union for the continuing bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine is expected to grow," the ministry said, also calling on the EU to listen to reason, not Washington's instructions.

The ministry explained that the earlier restrictions were introduced by the European Council on February 20 when Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych was the country's president and there were fierce clashes between armed Maidan radicals and police.

"At that time the European Union thought it was wrong to supply the Yanukovych regime with special equipment and weapons. Now, despite the continuing military operation by the current Kiev authorities in the country's southeast, the EU thought it is necessary to resume issuing licenses for the exports of military equipment in full," the ministry said.

In mid-April, Kiev launched a military crackdown on independence supporters in eastern Ukraine. According to the latest UN report, the conflict has claimed the lives of 1,129 civilians since then, with another 3,442 injured.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned Kiev's "war against own people" and urged an immediate stop to the punitive operation, advocating for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

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