S-400 Deployment in Crimea Aiming to Ensure Russia's Security: Kremlin

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Russia's taking measures to ensure its security should not be perceived as a threat to anyone, the Russian side has the right to such steps, Kremlin spokesman said when asked to comment on reports on the deployment of the second S-400 air defense missile system division in Crimea.

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"We know that the provocative activity on the Russian-Ukrainian border near Crimea continues, and, let's say, subversive activities continue, including the facts uncovered in the last months of these subversive activities, which are well known," Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"So certainly the adoption by the Russian side of all necessary measures to ensure its security should not be perceived as a threat to anyone, but should be perceived exactly as ensuring its own security, which, naturally, the Russian side has full sovereign right to," he said when asked whether the Kremlin fears a possible threat on the part of Ukraine, Sputnik reported.

Earlier this week, the USS Carney Tomahawk-cruise capable destroyer arrived in Ukraine's port of Odessa, situated less than 200 km away from Russia's Crimea, and about 300 km from Sevastopol, home base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. The warship's visit was the first by a NATO vessel in 2018, and is expected to last until January 11.

In December, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Russian forces had deployed second S-400 battalion in the Crimean city of Sevastopol.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia after 96 percent of its residents supported the move in a referendum in March 2014. The vote was held after new authorities took power in Kiev after what many considered to be a coup.

Kiev, as well as the European Union, the United States and their allies, did not recognize the reunification and consider the peninsula to be an occupied territory. However, Russian authorities have repeatedly stated that the Crimean residents decided to rejoin Russia following a democratic procedure. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the issue of Crimea's territorial belonging was "historically closed."

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