Germany and France heard Russia’s position on Kiev’s provocation in the Kerch Strait at talks with Vladimir Putin in Buenos Aires, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the program “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” on Rossiya 1TV channel on Sunday.
“I think they could not but hear it [Russia’s stance] because Russian President Vladimir Putin at the meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally showed in hand-waving terms how all this happened, how this provocation was plotted and how they tried to carry it out and how responsibly our border guards fulfilled their duty, attempting to avoid any undesirable incidents,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov noted that unfortunately provocateurs of the Ukrainian Security Service “did everything to fulfill an order, the text of which was found when our border guards boarded these gunboats.” “It clearly said: to secretly enter the neutral waters without any pilots and notifications and break under the Crimean Bridge through the Kerch Strait to Azov,” he said.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin personally told his interlocutors about this,” Lavrov said. “I haven’t heard from them any reaction, which is based on other facts.”
On November 25, three warships of the Ukrainian Navy violated the rules of passage through Russia’s territorial waters while en route from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea. The Russian side had to use weapons to compel the ships to stop. Three Ukrainian servicemen were lightly wounded. They received medical assistance. The ships were detained and escorted to the port of Kerch. A criminal case was launched on border violation charges.
Moscow described the incident as a provocation. The Ukrainian authorities declared martial law. The EU and NATO called for de-escalation of the situation.