April 20, 2018

Russia not to break relations with Ukraine: Vladimir Putin

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Moscow has no intention of cutting relations with Kiev.

“Despite the reluctance of current Kiev authorities to have full diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, we will create opportunities to develop contacts and support them,” Putin said at a Russian Security Council briefing in Crimea.

Russia has been mulling additional security measures following clashes on the peninsula that killed two Russian servicemen.

Russia’s Federal Security Service has accused Ukrainian authorities of masterminding an attempt to send a group of saboteurs to Crimea, which it thwarted last week. Kiev denied the accusations.

“It appears, our partners in Kiev have decided to aggravate the situation, and it is clear why,” Putin said.

The Russian leader said the reason behind the incident was Kiev’s intention of avoiding implementing the Minsk agreements aimed at reaching a political settlement of the crisis in the country and to divert the attention of the Ukrainian people from social and economic problems.

“I hope this will not be the final choice of our partners and common sense will prevail,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Putin appointed former Education Minister Dmitry Livanov as his special representative for the development of commercial, economic and scientific relations with Ukraine.

Russia currently has no ambassador in Kiev after Putin relieved Mikhail Zurabov of his duties in July.

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