ROME, November 23. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday he is sure Western countries are seeking to use the situation around the Sea of Azov as another pretext to exert pressure on Russia.
According to Lavrov, since April there has been not a single complaint from captains of ships inspected by the Russian side. "All inspections were conducted in strict compliance with the existing norms," he said at a news conference after talks with his Italian counterpart, Enzo Moavero Milanesi. "So, I see no explanations other than an attempt to invent yet another pretext to exert pressure on Russia."
He stressed that Russia was forces to expand the presence of its military in the Kerch Strait following threats coming from Ukraine to blow up the Crimean Bridge. "BY the way, we have heard no reaction to these threats from our Western partners who are no so concerned over the absolutely legitimate actions of the Russian authorities in the Sea of Azov," he noted.
After a meeting of the Council of the European Union on November 19, EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherinin, said that foreign ministers from the 28 EU nations had expressed concern over the situation in the Sea of Azov and discussed possible measures in this respect.