EU Says Not Ready to Link Increased Military Activity in Donbas to Russia
17:32 14.11.2014(updated 18:09 14.11.2014)
The European Union noticed clear increase in the movements of military equipment and convoys in eastern Ukraine, but the European Union is not ready to link these actions with Russia.
BRUSSELS, November 14 (Sputnik) — The European Union is not ready to link the increased military activity and the movement of convoys in Ukraine's east to Russia, a senior EU official said Friday.
"When it comes to the situation on the site, we, without placing blame, are also seeing a clear increase in the movements of military equipment and convoys in eastern Ukraine. Identifying these convoys and numbers is a different matter. At this stage we can say that all intelligence and other services who are able to observe [the situation] are noting an increase of military movements there," a EU official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.
Answering the question of why the European Union, unlike NATO, is not claiming that Russia has increased its alleged military support to the Donbas militia, he stated that this is 'probably because our organization does not have the same assets as others".
"At this stage we wish to provide information that we can properly confirm. We know perfectly well what NATO is saying. We are constantly in contact with all of them. We hope that by Monday, we will be able to provide information that will be as accurate as possible," the EU source said.
Since Kiev launched a military offensive against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine in April, NATO and the European Union have accused Russia of meddling in the internal Ukrainian crisis, claims which Moscow has repeatedly denied.
On Wednesday, NATO said it had observed columns of Russian tanks, artillery and combat troops entering Ukraine. Russia's Foreign Ministry stated that no Russian troops have crossed the border into Ukraine and that there is "certainly no Russian military presence on the territory of Ukraine".
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) earlier reported that its Special Monitoring Mission had observed a convoy of unmarked military trucks travelling in eastern Ukraine. Deputy Commander of the Donetsk People's Republic militia Eduard Basurin told Sputnik that the convoy detected by the monitors belonged to independence supporters.
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