Crimea will place nuclear weapons on its territory on President’s orders - official
Crimea would support the placement of nuclear weapons on its territory once such a decision is made in Moscow, said the head of the republic, Sergey Aksyonov.
“If such an order comes from our commander-in-chief, we are going to support it,” Aksyonov said in an interview with the Sputnik news agency.
He added that he personally was sure that the nuclear weapons were perfectly safe for Crimea’s environment because Russian technologies in this field were the most advanced in the world.
During the latest major inspection of the Russian Military Forces the Defense Ministry reported on he plans to deploy ten Tupolev 22M3 strategic bombers to Crimea, but did not specify if it was planned to equip the aircraft with nuclear-tipped bombs and missiles.
In early March, a senior Foreign Ministry official said in a speech that Russia had the right to place nuclear weapons on the peninsula.
“Naturally, Russia has the right to put nuclear weapons in any region on its territory if it deems it necessary. We hold that we have such a right, though Kiev has a different opinion on this matter,” the head of the ministry’s Department for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Weapons Control, Mikhail Ulyanov, told reporters.
The Crimean Republic became part of the Russian Federation just over one year ago, after over 96 percent of its residents – the majority of whom are ethnic Russians – voted for the move in an urgently called referendum. The decision was prompted by the change of regime in Ukraine, which ousted the democratically-elected president and government.
Sergey Aksyonov became the head of the Crimean Republic in October 2014. The appointment was made by President Vladimir Putin after Aksyonov’s candidacy was put forward by regional legislature.
In mid-March this year, Russia’s public opinion research center VTSIOM conducted a poll that showed that today over 90 percent of Crimean residents have positive feelings about the reunification with Russia.