Politics 28-11-2018

Putin: the incident in Kerch is a provocation by Poroshenko in the face of the elections

The incident in the Black Sea, near the Kerch Strait, was a provocation organized by the Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, declared Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"As for the incidents in the Black Sea, it is undoubtedly a provocation that was organized by the current [Ukrainian] authorities ahead of the presidential elections in Ukraine, scheduled for March of the following year," he said in the forum of investment 'Russia calls you', organized by the bank VTB.

The Russian leader pointed out that according to the ranking of popularity of the candidates for the Ukrainian presidency, Petró Poroshenko "is in the fifth position".

In Putin's opinion, Poroshenko runs the risk of "not going to the second round of the elections, so he needs to do something to aggravate the situation and create insurmountable obstacles for his rivals, especially the opposition."

"There are clear signs that it was a provocation prepared in advance and then used as a pretext to impose martial law in the country," he said.

The Russian leader questioned whether a border incident could serve as a justification for imposing martial law.

"There was an incident in the Black Sea, but it's just a border incident," he said.

Putin recalled that the Ukrainian government did not impose martial law after the reunification of Crimea with Russia in 2014, nor for the war in Donbas.

"It is a dirty game to aggravate the situation within the country to undermine its political rivals," he reiterated.

The Russian president defended the Russian border guards, who detained three Ukrainian military vessels in the Black Sea, on the grounds that they violated Russian borders, and ignored their orders to stop.

"And how should the border guards act?" Military vessels stormed Russia's territorial waters and did not respond, it was not clear what they were going to do, "How should they act?" If [the guards] had acted otherwise , they would have been prosecuted, they fulfilled their military duty, "he said.

Putin added that if Kiev asks innocents tomorrow for breakfast, they will surely be served.

"The current Ukrainian authorities successfully sell anti-Russian sentiments because they no longer have anything to sell, and it gives the impression [...] that if tomorrow they ask innocents for breakfast, they will surely be served," the president said in relation to the incident in the Strait of Kerch.

Putin said that Kiev applies a "myopic policy" that does not contribute anything good, because "it only makes the Ukrainian leaders relax".

"It relaxes them to such an extent that they no longer encourage themselves to carry out political work within the country and develop a normal economic policy," the president said.

As a result, he said, the Ukrainian authorities have problems in many other areas.

"For example, they have problems in the financial sector and they are always asking for money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), without caring that future generations will need to repay that money someday," Putin said.

At the same time, he indicated that whoever is the leader of Ukraine, the two neighboring peoples - Russian and Ukrainian - will continue to be sister nations.

"That political foam will already fall and the Ukrainian people will give an assessment to their leaders, as did the Georgian people in relation to the activity of [Mikhail] Saakashvili," the Russian president said.

In addition, the Russian leader said that after violating the Russian border in the area of Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian sailors responded with absolute silence to the proposal to provide a pilot.

The Russian leader stressed that Ukrainian ships entered the zone of territorial waters that historically corresponded to Russia, even before the accession of the Crimean peninsula.

"I emphasize that they entered our territorial waters, without responding to the calls of our border guards, nor did they react to the offer to drop the anchor or to offer them a pilot, even after having violated our state border, they were offered to take a pilot, "the president said.

On November 28 the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, promulgated the decree to impose martial law in Ukraine.

Martial law is applied for a period of 30 days from November 26, and is limited to areas along the Russian border, the Transnistrian sector of the border between Ukraine and Moldova and also throughout the coast of the Black and Azov seas.

The measure was taken after Sunday, the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) stopped three Ukrainian military vessels.

According to the FSB, these vessels crossed the Russian border and entered a provisionally closed zone in the Black Sea, without having requested permission from the Russian authorities, advancing towards the Kerch Strait, and then carried out dangerous maneuvers in defiance of the demands of the Russian Federation. Russian border guard to stop immediately.

On November 27, the Russian Security Service reported that it found in the detained vessels a document , according to which the Ukrainian ships had the task of navigating from Odessa (coast of the Black Sea, southern Ukraine) to Berdiansk (coast of the Sea of Azov , southeast of the country).

They had to do it "in a hidden way" and "focusing the main efforts on the covert transfer to the Kerch-Yenikale canal and the passage through it."

The Kremlin, which called the naval incident with Ukraine a "very dangerous provocation", defended the actions of the Russian coastguards by stressing that they acted in accordance with the law.

Free navigation on the Sea of Azov - internal maritime between Russia and Ukraine, according to a bilateral agreement - was complicated in recent months after Ukrainian coastguards caught several Russian ships that had visited Crimea, an "occupied territory" for Kiev.

Moscow described Kiev's actions as "maritime terrorism" and responded by tightening controls in the Russian zone of the Sea of Azov.


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