MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's defense ministry on Friday presented the Ukrainian military attaché with a note of protest in reaction to Ukraine's plans to conduct training launches of missiles over Crimea next week.
Russian aviation officials said earlier on Friday that Ukraine had informed them of the upcoming launches over Crimea. Russia has been in control of the Ukrainian peninsula since it annexed it in March 2014 after a hastily called referendum.
The Russian defense ministry said in a statement that the note handed to the Ukrainian attaché says that Russia protests the missile exercises scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 because the airspace of the planned launches, over Crimea's west coast, "violates territorial seas of the Russian Federation."
In Kiev, Oleksandr Turchynov, chairman of the Ukrainian Security and Defense Council, said late Friday that Ukraine is not planning to conduct the training launches over the Kerch Strait, which separates Russia and Crimea.
But Turchynov added that Ukraine is free to conduct military maneuvers anywhere in its airspace, including Crimea.