Published: Thu, November 29, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

'US encouraging provocation between Russia, Ukraine'

'US encouraging provocation between Russia, Ukraine'

He later told the Post that "I don't like that aggression".

Putin on Wednesday broke his silence on the maritime clash, blaming it on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's desire to get re-elected.

The crisis also threatened growing diplomatic fallout with US President Donald Trump warning that he may cancel a long-awaited summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin. "Maybe I won't have the meeting. Maybe I won't even have the meeting", he said.

Ukraine has also blamed the Kremlin for separatist violence in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert urged European states to do more to support Ukraine and said Washington wants to see tougher enforcement of sanctions against Russian Federation.

Three Ukrainian ships are seen as they docked after been seized, in Kerch, Crimea, November 25, 2018.

Nine more Ukrainian sailors captured during Sunday's confrontation with Russia in a strait next to Crimea have been sent to jail for two months by a Russian court.

Moscow has so far resisted calls to release the three ships or the 24 sailors it has detained. The remaining sailors are due in court on Wednesday.

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Moscow says the ships violated Russian territorial waters on goal and accuses Ukraine of plotting with its Western allies to provoke a conflict.

The incident was the first major confrontation at sea in the long-running conflict pitting Ukraine against Moscow and Russian-backed separatists in the country's east. That fighting has killed at least 10,000 people since 2014 but eased somewhat with a 2015 truce.

Among other things, martial law gives Ukrainian authorities the power to order a partial mobilization, strengthen air defenses, and take steps "to strengthen the counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and counter-sabotage regime and information security".

In a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday, Putin expressed "serious concern" over its introduction.

One more of the systems would be joining three others already deployed in Crimea, they said.

This is the first open armed confrontation between Ukraine and Russian Federation since the annexation of Crimea in March 2014. One say Putin said that the collapse of the URSS was the biggest geopolitical tragedy of the XX century.

On that note, he asked Ukraine's allies to continue to show "solidarity" and make the cost of any Russian blockade unaffordable for the Kremlin. Commenting on the actions of the Russian border guards in the Strait, he stressed that they were doing their job of protecting the border. Did they [the Ukranian vessels] let them know they're coming through? "What they are saying now is not true", he told Ukrainian media. But Putin today said the West was ready to forgive Ukrainian politicians their shortcomings because it bought into the anti-Russian narrative Kiev is promoting.

Austria, which now holds the rotating European Union presidency, has said the bloc will consider further sanctions against the Kremlin at an upcoming meeting. "But it will need to be reviewed", Karin Kneissl told reporters. He assured that the Ukrainian side was responsible for the escalation of tensions, since the incident was a deliberate and planned provocation by the Ukrainian Navy.

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