All news

UK must abandon attempts to cause rifts in Ukrainian society - Russian embassy

This comment came as a reaction to recent statements by British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Christopher Pincher, who demanded during his speech at the Yalta European Strategy conference that Russia stop obstructing navigation in the Kerch Strait

LONDON, September 14. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy in the UK has called on London to abandon its attempts to cause rifts in Ukrainian society, the embassy’s press officer said on Saturday. This comment came as a reaction to recent statements by British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Christopher Pincher, who demanded during his speech at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference that Russia stop obstructing navigation in the Kerch Strait.

"We call on London to abandon attempts to cause an artificial rift in the Ukrainian society and to finally play a constructive role in the process of national accord," the Russian diplomat said. "We would like to be proven wrong, however, judging by Pincher’s words, real improvement of the situation in Ukraine would not be in the interest of London, as it would lower possibilities for exacerbating anti-Russian sentiment. This is also proven by the concerned publications in the British media on European politicians repeatedly speaking in favor of normalizing relations with Russia," the embassy press officer said.

"On the one hand, Pincher has repeated the notorious British approaches to the "Russian aggression," "obstructing navigation in the Kerch Strait," etc., and due to this, his words do not seem new. At the same time it is obvious that the British rhetoric has remained unchanged despite certain positive changes in the regulation of the domestic Ukrainian crisis," he noted.

"In cooperation with its responsible partners and international organizations, Russia continues to do everything in its power to facilitate regulation. The recent exchange of prisoners and detained persons, the aim of which is to facilitate the atmosphere for developing contacts between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk to implement the Minsk Agreements, is testimony to that," the Russian diplomat reminded.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that Russia does not obstruct navigation of vessels, including military ones, through the Kerch Strait.

On November 25, 2018, three Ukrainian warships, en route from Odessa to Mariupol, illegally crossed Russia’s state border, entered Russia’s territorial waters in the Kerch Strait and started performing dangerous maneuvers. Despite the repeated warnings and demands to stop, the Ukrainian vessels continued their way, forcing Russia to use weapons. All three Ukrainian ships were detained in the Black Sea, along with 24 Ukrainian sailors.

On September 7, Moscow and Kiev carried out a "35 for 35" exchange of detainees, which included the 24 Ukrainian sailors detained in the Kerch Strait.