Moscow, Nov 27: Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope in the telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Germany will influence Ukraine regarding the situation in the Kerch Strait to keep Kiev from making rash decisions, the Kremlin press service reported.
"Vladimir Putin provided an assessment of the Ukrainian side's provocative actions, gross violation of norms of international law when its [Ukraine's] military ships deliberately ignored the rules of peaceful passage through territorial waters of the Russian Federation," the press service said.
"Vladimir Putin expressed hope that Berlin will influence the Ukrainian authorities and keep them from making further hasty decisions," it added.
The conversation between Putin and Merkel was initiated by Germany. The Russian president expressed his concern over Kiev's decision to bring its military forces into full combat readiness and declare martial law. "It was emphasized that the Ukrainian leadership bears full responsibility for creating another conflict situation and for risks associated with it. All of this was evidently undertaken with Ukraine's election campaign in mind," the Kremlin press service said.
Putin also noted that Russian Border Service will be ready to provide additional clarifications on how the situation in the Kerch Strait developed, TASS reported.
On November 25 three warships of the Ukrainian Navy violated the rules of passage through Russia's territorial waters while en route from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea. The Russian side had to use weapons to compel the ships to stop. Three Ukrainian servicemen were lightly wounded. They received medical assistance. The ships were detained and escorted to the port of Kerch. A criminal case was initiated on border violation charges.
The Russian side described the incident as a provocation. The Ukrainian authorities declared martial law. The EU and NATO called for de-escalation of the situation. (UNI)