MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is not responding to his Ukrainian counterpart Pyotr Poroshenko’s attempts to contact him on the phone as he does not wish to take part in the latter’s election campaign, as the Russian leader himself told reporters when asked to comment on the lack of a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian president.
"It is not that I am just avoiding a conversation or don’t want to talk with Pyotr Alexeyevich [Poroshenko], it is not like that," Putin said. "The matter is that I don’t want to take part in his election campaign," the Russian president pointed out.
According to Putin, Poroshenko is good at creating crises and staging provocations which he immediately blames on Russia, but at the same time "he immediately wants to show everyone that he can successfully resolve emerging issues."
"It is a simple stunt but I don’t want to be part of these stunts and I will not take part in them," the Russian leader added.
Kerch Strait incident
On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed Russia’s border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters later in the day. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued maneuvering dangerously. In order to stop the Ukrainian ships, weapons had to be used. The three vessels were detained in Russian territorial waters. Three Ukrainian military servicemen suffered light wounds and were provided with medical assistance.
A criminal investigation has been opened into the border incident. The Ukrainian ships’ crew members, 24 Ukrainian nationals, have been arrested until January 25, 2019.
Moscow branded Kiev's stunt in the Kerch Strait as a dangerous provocation, while the European Union and NATO called for a de-escalation of tensions, while Kiev declared a 30-day martial law. According to experts, the move is aimed at increasing Poroshenko’s chances to win the Ukrainian presidential elections scheduled to take place in March 2019.