BERLIN, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow has the right to make decisions on security measures on its territory because hostilities continue a few kilometers away from its border with Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
"There is war on the other side of the border, with artillery, aviation, multiple-launch rocket systems and, according to some reports, missiles being used to attack Luhansk. It all takes place literally a few kilometers away from our border," he said.
The foreign minister added that many cases of cross-border fire were registered.
"We do not think that this was a deliberate act. Most likely, [the shelling] was a result of either accident or poor training. But this happens. There have been casualties and damage was done to civilian objects on the Russian side [of the border]," he said.
"Anyway, we have the right to make decisions we consider necessary to ensure our safety," Lavrov continued.
The Russian-Ukrainian border has been hit multiple times by Ukrainian artillery in the nearly four-months-long standoff between Ukraine’s national troops and independence supporters refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the new government in the country’s southeast.
On Sunday, Kiev-led forces attacked Luhansk with Tochka-U ballistic missile systems, Rossiya-24 television reported, citing a source in the militia forces. Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on Defense Franz Klintsevich said the use of ballistic missiles in Luhansk suggests that Ukrainian security officials have carte blanche from the United States to take any actions.
Kiev denied that its military used ballistic missiles against the cities of eastern Ukraine.
About 15 munition explosions flew across the border on August 10. A mine round launched from Ukraine’s territory exploded near Gukovo checkpoint, last month, after shells exploded in the Russian city of Donetsk in Rostov Region, killing one civilian and injuring two.
Kiev launched a special operation in eastern Ukraine in mid-April to suppress independence supporters who refused to recognize the legitimacy of its new authorities. Moscow has repeatedly urged Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop the punitive operation and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
According to a report by the mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), nearly 1,400 people have been killed since the special operation in eastern Ukraine began, while about 117,000 of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes and cross into neighboring Russia in search of shelter.