WASHINGTON, August 31. /TASS/. The Russian embassy in the United States urged the US authorities not to "stand up for outrageous wards at the Sea of Azov and begin a substantial dialogue on the Russian citizens locked in American prisons," the ministry said on Facebook.
"US Department of State has raised concerns through its Spokesperson Heather Nauert over legitimate inspections of vessels at the Sea of Azov. No arrests, no detentions, simply inspections. It is noteworthy (in order to understand the policy of double standards) that not a single vessel out of the "hundreds" has been specified. State Department avoided it on purpose, as facts of Ukrainian piracy are being muted. For instance, the seizure of the Russian fishing boat "Nord" by Ukrainian border patrol at the Sea of Azov on March 25 as an a example. Its crew consists of Crimean fishermen, who do not determine themselves as Ukrainian citizens," the Ministry’s statement said.
"US State Department also stays silent about ‘Machanic Pogodin’, a Russian tanker blocked at the port of Kherson by Ukrainian siloviks on August 10. It has 12 crew members on board. They have already been visited by OSCE - The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe representatives," the ministry added.
According to the ministry, "US authorities keep generating new baseless accusations against Russia to misdirect attention from gross human rights violations in its satellite countries (e.g. harassment and prosecution of a human rights advocate Alexander Gaponenko in Latvia), not to mention in the US itself. We are hinting to abductions of Russian citizens for further prosecution on the US soil followed by psychological pressure and predetermined convictions." "Russian student Maria Butina has become another victim of the American-style justice being arrested under far-fetched charges and kept in prison," the Ministry said.
Earlier, Spokesperson for the United States Department of State Heather Nauert said that inspections of Ukrainian ships by Russian warships in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait interfered with international navigation.