The Russian Defense Ministry summoned a military attaché at the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow to protest provocative maneuvers.
"The Russian side views these actions as provocative," the ministry’s spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry claimed that an An-26 transport plane came under small arms fire during a training flight near the Odessa gas field in the Black Sea.
In a statement, the Russian Black Sea categorically denied the claims, calling them "absolute lies." Chernomorneftegaz, the company operating the platforms, also denied the allegations.
"I’m not surprised at all by this incident. It is a classical CIA-style provocation. And it’s clear what’s behind it. It was a provocation by Kiev but it failed. So, they claimed that Russia shot at their plane," Kireyev told Radio Sputnik.
The expert noted that in the recent three years, after the Maidan coup, Ukraine has been portraying Russia as an enemy.
At the same time, he underscored, taking into account the fact that there is a new president in the United States the political situation in Europe is changing.
"The role of Ukraine as the main troublemaker for Russia is extremely questionable now," Kireyev said.
Meanwhile, the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine held a meeting in Minsk. The talks took place amid a spike in violence in the Ukrainian region of Donbass, particularly near the town of Avdiivka.
The situation in the area has been tense for several days, with civilians being deprived of running water, central heating and electricity. The Ukrainian forces and Donbass militia are accusing each other of being responsible for an escalation of fighting.
Commenting on the situation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "Ukrainian authorities are not ready to abide by the Minsk agreements and are searching for a pretext in order not to implement them."
According to Kireyev, the Minsk agreements are not perfect, but they are the only possible way to reach a compromise.
"Ukraine wants to escalate the conflict. If there was no Donbass another we would have another similar conflict near Russia’s border. The current Ukrainian authorities cannot stop doing that. The Minsk agreements were a bad option for a compromise, but they were the only option," the expert concluded.
Multiple ceasefires have been introduced in Donbass (Ukraine's southeast) since the start of the conflict, but all of them have failed to hold as both sides blamed each other for violations.
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