Ukrainian Embassies Worldwide Continue Recruiting Mercs, Head of Russian Delegation in Vienna Says
17:11 GMT 30.03.2022 (Updated: 20:58 GMT 19.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberA man carries combat gear as he leaves Poland to fight in Ukraine, at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022
© AP Photo / Markus Schreiber
The official stressed that Ukraine and the West will be responsible for possible tragic consequences of such recruiting. Moscow has previously warned foreign countries against allowing their citizens to take part in Ukraine hostilities, stressing that anyone firing at Russian troops during the special op will be considered a legitimate target.
Embassies of Ukraine across the globe have been involved in recruiting foreign mercenaries, the head of the Russian delegation at the talks on military secrity and arms control in Vienna, Konstantin Gavrilov, said.
"Another destabilising factor is the influx of foreign mercenaries and terrorists to Ukraine, their number has already reached 6,500 people from 62 countries. Russian troops continue targeted actions to track and destroy them," Gavrilov said at a plenary session of the Forum for Security Cooperation. He added that as a result of strikes with high-precision weapons over the past two weeks, about 600 "soldiers of fortune" have been eliminated, and more than 500 have left the country.
However, Ukrainian embassies around the world are actively working to recruit mercenaries in violation of the Vienna Convention of 1961, the official added.
"...In the Middle East, they are working in coordination with Western special services and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Our Anglo-Saxon colleagues are not deterred by the sad experience of similar experiments in the past. Have they really forgotten about the tragic 9/11 attacks and about terrorist attacks in London and other European capitals? We have repeatedly warned that if radicals in Ukraine and abroad get access to MANPADs and ATGMs this will create a real terrorist threat to the whole of Europe," Gavrilov said.
Russia has repeatedly warned the West against allowing their citizens to travel to Ukraine as mercenaries. Moscow stressed that anyone firing at Russian troops during the special operation will be considered a valid target.