MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. The framework agreement between Ukraine and Britain on naval partnership proves once again that London is stepping up military activity near Russia’s borders, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Wednesday.
"We regard this as another evidence of Britain’s growing military activity in countries neighboring on Russia, in particular, in Ukraine," she said.
Zakharova stressed that there were no facts to prove allegations Russia was building up tensions in Europe, while the agreement in question was certainly a factor for instability and destabilization.
"Whereas before the point at issue was London’s assistance in training Ukrainian military personnel within the framework of operation ORBITAL, now it is correct to say that interaction has been spread to the naval sphere and weapons supplies," Zakharova said.
"We believe that London should display such energy and vigor not in destabilizing the situation on Russia’s borders, but in efforts to bring about a settlement of the conflict and to persuade Kiev to strictly comply with the package of measures to enact the Minsk Accords," Zakharova said. "Instead, we can see Britain in fact encourage Kiev in its revanchist plans, which creates real risks to regional security… Of course, we are forced to bear all these circumstances in mind and take proportionate measures."
Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain Vadim Pristaiko on November 13 signed a Ukrainian-British framework agreement envisaging a 1.7-billion-pound loan to Kiev. The money will be spent on building eight missile-carrying boats, on the acquisition of two trawlers from Britain and on creation of two naval bases in Ukraine.
The agreements on building up Ukraine’s Navy were achieved when President Vladimir Zelensky visited Britain in 2020. A memorandum on stepping up Kiev-London cooperation in the military-technical field was signed. It provides for a 1.25-billion-pound loan from the British export credit agency.