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UK PM’s anti-Russian statements poison working atmosphere at G20, Russian embassy

November 30, 2018, 21:40 UTC+3 LONDON

Prior to the G20 summit, Theresa May said that the Kerch Strait incident demonstrates that Russia continues to violate the international system resting on generally recognized rules

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LONDON, November 30. /TASS/. UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s anti-Russian pronouncements only harm the working atmosphere of the Group of Twenty summit opening in Argentina’s Buenos Aires on Friday, the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom said.

May said ahead of the G20 summit that the Kerch Strait incident demonstrates that Russia continues to violate the international system resting on generally recognized rules. She said the United Kingdom will insist on additional sanction against Russia following this incident.

"Unfortunately, the Prime Minister is making such statements prior to an important international summit, thus poisoning the working atmosphere of G-20, a widely respected forum, while trying to prevent constructive dialogue that would be in the interests of all its participants," the Russian embassy said. "As for Mrs May’s statement on the UK’s intention to be at the forefront of EU efforts to build up sanctions against Russia, they once again prove that the talk on sanctions is being exploited by the British authorities, regardless of facts, in order to continue influencing EU’s foreign policy in spite of Brexit."

"We don’t understand the meaning of Mrs May’s appeals to "de-escalate" the situation. Before the provocation, there had been no problems with the passage of vessels, including Ukrainian military ships, through the Kerch Strait. The so-called "obstacles" allegedly put by Russia are nothing but routine security checks. They do not result in any substantial delays and are equally conducted towards both Ukrainian and Russian vessels. Moreover, currently the sea traffic in the Kerch Strait is fully restored and functioning routinely," the embassy said.

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 Russian side described the incident as a provocation, but the Ukrainian authorities imposed martial law in some of Ukraine’s regions.

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