In this photo released on Aug 11, 2022, by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani speaks in Tehran, Iran. (PHOTO / AP)
TEHRAN / KIEV / ST. PETERSBURG / MOSCOW – The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Saturday rejected as "baseless" the Ukrainian president's claims about Iran supplying Russia with drones for use against Ukraine.
Nasser Kanaani made the remarks in a statement published on the Iranian Foreign Ministry's website, in response to a recent call by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tehran to stop "its supply of combat drones to Russia."
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani reiterated Iran's opposition to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and is very sorry about the Ukrainian people's pain and suffering, adding Iran stays ready to provide assistance to the finding of a political solution to end the crisis at the earliest possible time
Kanaani reiterated Iran's opposition to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and is very sorry about the Ukrainian people's pain and suffering, adding Iran stays ready to provide assistance to the finding of a political solution to end the crisis at the earliest possible time.
He stressed that the Ukrainian president's repeated "baseless" claims is in collusion with the West's anti-Iran "propaganda and media war" and is aimed at attracting further financial and arms supports from Western states.
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He said Iran's readiness to continue expert-level negotiation with Ukraine on solving relevant dispute, however, the Ukrainian side has refrained from holding further talks, which proofs "baselessness" of its claims and "political objectives and motives" behind its anti-Tehran accusations.
In a nightly video address on Wednesday, the Ukrainian president urged Iran to reconsider what he called "its supply of combat drones to Russia" in order to stop its slide into "the dark side of history."
Ukraine and Western countries have accused Iran of exporting suicide drones to Russia for use in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Iran has repeatedly rejected the accusations as "baseless," saying it had only given "a limited number" of drones to Russia months before the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Meanwhile, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) admitted on Saturday that it implemented "certain measures" linked to the explosion on the Crimean Bridge in October 2022.
"According to our legislation, international legislation and the customs and traditions of warfare, taking into account the fact that it was a logistical route that we were obliged to cut off the enemy, certain measures were taken," Vasyl Malyuk, head of the SSU, said in a statement published on the agency's website.
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Still, it is too early to make public the details of the "special operation," Malyuk said.
On Oct 8, 2022, a deadly blast hit the 19-km Crimean Bridge, which consists of two parallel routes for automobiles and trains over the Kerch Strait.
A truck exploded on the road bridge, causing seven fuel tanks of a train heading to the Crimean Peninsula to catch fire. Three people were killed in the blast, which also led to the partial collapse of two spans of the road bridge.
Also on Saturday, an administrative building of an oil pipeline in the Pskov region of Russia was damaged in an explosion, Pskov Governor Mikhail Vedernikov said.
The explosion occurred on Saturday morning near the village of Litvinovo in the Nevelsky district, with no casualties reported, said the governor on Telegram, adding that an operational group was working at the scene.
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"Preliminary data shows that the explosion was caused by an attack of two unmanned aerial vehicles," Vedernikov added.
The Pskov region belongs to the Northwest Federal District of Russia.
In Russia’s Belgorod region, a person was killed and three other people were injured in the shelling of the Shebekino district by the Ukrainian armed forces, the region's governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said Saturday.
"One person was killed. He was a security guard at an operating enterprise in the town, and he was outdoors at the moment of the attack," Gladkov said in a Telegram post.
The governor said that the injured people include two teenagers and an adult.
"Several shells landed on the premises of two major enterprises, and a fire started at one of them," he said, adding that a power transmission line was damaged.
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The emergency services are inspecting the area, said the governor.
The Belgorod region, located next to Ukraine's Kharkov region, has recently been a center of hostilities. On Tuesday, Gladkov reported several drone attacks that caused damage to local private residential buildings.