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NATO statements let situation escalate prior to Ukraine’s runoff - Karasin

April 04, 3:36 UTC+3 GENEVA

Earlier, NATO said it might take measures to ensure what it described as safe passage of Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait

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GENEVA, April 4. /TASS/. NATO statements on the Kerch Strait sound like playing along with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s bellicose slogans with the aim to escalate the situation prior to the runoff vote, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told TASS on Wednesday.

Earlier, NATO said it might take measures to ensure what it described as safe passage of Ukrainian ships through the Kerch Strait and to expand air reconnaissance in the Black Sea region. A statement to that effect was made by US permanent representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison at a news briefing in Washington.

"It sounds as if they play along unilaterally with Poroshenko’s militarist statements in order to let the situation escalate in the run-up to the second round [of Ukraine’s presidential election] hoping that this will help raise the pseudo-patriotic spirit of a Ukrainian voter," the deputy foreign minister said when asked to comment on the NATO statement.

Nonetheless, the people of Ukraine have already got used to similar provocations, according to Karasin.

"That is why I am hoping that they will accept this with relevant remarks," he added.

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