Ukraine intends to allow a ballistic missile system to be deployed on its territory in order to prevent possible attacks from Russia, a senior Ukrainian defense official said on Wednesday.
Ukrainian National Security Service Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov in an interview with Ukrinform news agency said that after negotiations Ukraine may offer to host a missile defence system.
Turchynov also cited the increasing military capabilities of Russia after the annexation of Crimea during the interview.
"That the annexation of Crimea has significantly increased Russia's military capabilities and changed its balance of military power in the Black Sea and Mediterranean is understood by all our partners," Turchynov said.
"But nobody goes beyond issuing statements and expressing deep concern," he added.
Turchynov also pointed out that Russia has placed long-range, nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 bomber aircraft to Crimea.
"Ten Iskander-M tactical missile systems have already been delivered to the peninsula near the village of Shcholkine and Krasnoperekopsk," Turchynov also said to Ukrinform.
Russia immediately responded to Ukraine’s moves, saying that the decisions would force Russia to take responsive measures.
“If this means that Ukraine plans to deploy elements of US missile defense systems on its territory, then, obviously, this could be understood as being completely negative because it would pose a threat to the Russian Federation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday.
Ukraine has concerns over Russia’s increasing offensive capacity in the western part of the country and its efforts to provide arms and manpower to separatists in the region.