Ministry official: Liberating Crimea is not yet on Ukraine's agenda
Despite explosions at Russia's military airport in Crimea this week, retaking the peninsula is not yet on Ukraine's agenda, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Jonatan Vseviov said on Wednesday.
The war will not be over until Crimea is back under Ukrainian control, he emphasized on ETV's "Ringvaade".
"I'm afraid that the military liberation of Crimea is still not on the agenda these days. Those battles, or the contact line where the armies meet, are still sufficiently far away from there. But it is clear that military aid provided by the West has significantly improved Ukraine's capabilities. This aid must be continued until this war is over," he added.
Vseviov said it did not matter whether Ukraine had attacked the base or whether it was an accident.
"Who exactly detonated what there, whether it was an operation by the Ukrainians or another kind of oversight by the Russian military, is less important than the fact that it is basically Ukrainian territory," said Vseviov.
The official said there are several goals behind attacking the peninsula, both militarily and psychologically.
"One is to deliver the message so that it is understood — that Ukraine intends to fight for all of its territory. This will definitely have a very strong psychological effect," he said.
"But secondly, it was also a military object, a very important military object. We can see that in recent weeks, rows of ammunition depots, logistic hubs, as well as staff and command facilities have been hit by weapon systems that can shoot quite far, so of course in the long run it reduces the capabilities of the aggressor state to ensure its military operation, to continue it. In this sense, all this has a military purpose as well as a psychological one," added Vseviov.
The Saky base in the west of Russian-ruled Crimea was rocked by a string of blasts on Tuesday, killing one person. Satellite images show at least eight damaged aircraft and several craters.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility - but the Satellite images suggest the possibility of a targeted attack, the BBC reported.
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Editor: Helen Wright