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US failed to use Kerch incident as pretext to ramp up sanctions on Russia, diplomat says

December 11, 2018, 4:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In violation of the rules of passage via Russia’s territorial sea and the Kerch Strait, three warships of the Ukrainian Navy crossed Russia’s state border on November 25

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Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov

© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. The United States has failed to use the Kerch Strait incident as a pretext to ramp up sanction pressure on Russia, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Monday.

"It is a secret to no one that in the current situation the Americans exerted certain pressure on the European Union to use the Kerch Strait incident as another pretext to step up sanction pressure. They have failed," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

In violation of the rules of passage via Russia’s territorial sea and the Kerch Strait, three warships of the Ukrainian Navy crossed Russia’s state border on November 25. 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 initiated on border violation charges.

The twenty-four Ukrainian nationals who were detained after the incident have been arrested till January 25. They face charges of illegal border crossing (part 3, article 322 of the Russian Criminal Code), which carry a punishment of up to six year in prison.

Ukraine and Western nations used this incident as another pretext to accuse Russia of alleged violation of international norms and rule and demanded Russia release the sailors and return the ships.

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