MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump actually recognized Crimea as part of Russia, which motivated his refusal to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Head of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said on Friday.
"What is especially interesting is the fact that Donald Trump made a very important statement while substantiating his refusal to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin," Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page.
The Russian senator cited Trump’s tweet: "Based on the fact that the [Ukrainian] ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting" with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Argentina.
"But, considering that the ships are in Kerch, that is, in Crimea, which Ukraine, the United States and its allies still deem as Ukrainian, then Trump’s statement that the ships are staying in Russia and have not been returned to Ukraine is nothing else but a long-awaited recognition of Crimea as Russian territory! And this is an alarming signal for Kiev rather than for Moscow," the senator said.
On November 25, three Ukrainian naval ships violated the procedure of passing through Russia’s territorial sea while sailing from the Azov to the Black Sea.
After being legitimately warned by Russia’s maritime security forces, Ukraine’s warships ignored the demands to stop, thereby evoking a chase involving gunfire in the Kerch Strait whereupon three Ukrainian navy sailors ended up lightly wounded. They were later given medical assistance. Consequently, the Ukrainian warships were detained and brought to Kerch. A criminal case has been opened into the violation of the Russian state border.
Russia has branded Ukraine’s stunt a provocation, while the Ukrainian authorities have exploited the incident to impose martial law. The European Union and NATO have called for de-escalating the situation.