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NATO: No ‘tangible evidence’ from Russia over attempted Crimea incursions

August 11, 2016, 19:41 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

NATO is closely monitoring the heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine

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BRUSSELS, August 11. /TASS/. Russia provides no ‘tangible evidence’ when it accuses Ukraine of attempted terrorist acts in Crimea, a NATO representative said in reply to a TASS query on Thursday.

"We note that Ukraine has strongly rejected Russia’s accusations, and made clear that Kiev is devoted to restoring its territorial integrity exclusively through political and diplomatic means. We further note that Russia has not provided any tangible evidence for its accusations against Ukraine," he said.

The representative said NATO was "monitoring closely and with concern the heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine".

"We are also deeply concerned by the recent upsurge in violence in eastern Ukraine, and the increase in ceasefire violations along the line of contact, primarily by the Russian-backed militants," he noted.

"We urge all parties to return to the negotiating table and work towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine by diplomatic and peaceful means. The full implementation of the Minsk Agreements is key," the NATO representative went on.

The Russian Federal Security Service said on Wednesday, August 10, that it had detained a group of Ukrainian saboteurs near the city of Armyansk (Crimea) and that it had prevented terrorist attacks in Crimea prepared by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s main intelligence directorate. The FSB said their planned targets were critically important infrastructure and life support facilities.

Twenty improvised explosive devices containing more than 40 kilograms of TNT equivalent, ammunition, fuses, antipersonnel and magnetic bombs, grenades and the Ukrainian armed forces’ standard special weapons were found at the scene, the FSB said.

Russian President Putin called silly and criminal the attempt of a subversive act by the Ukrainian special services in Crimea aimed at distracting attention from Ukraine’s internal problems and from the authorities robbing their people.

Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko and the Foreign Ministry have rejected Moscow’s accusations, calling the alleged saboteurs’ detention a provocation.

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