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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

    Russian FM Pledges Moscow Will Not Wage War on Ukraine Despite Provocations

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vowed on Monday that Moscow was not going to start a war with Ukraine amid intensified provocations on Kiev's part.

    "We will not go to war with Ukraine, that much I can promise you," Lavrov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio.

    READ MORE: Kerch Strait Incident: Ex-German FM Says Kiev Seeking to Drag Berlin Into War

    The minister went on saying that it was not necessary to sever diplomatic relations with Ukraine either.

    "I don't think [breaking relations] is necessary. The Ukrainian people are not to blame and the majority of Ukrainians, I am sure, want peace for their country, want to get rid of that shameful regime and want to return to normal relations with Russia," the minister added.

    Moscow is sure that Kiev will continue provocations on the Russian border and has knowledge of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko planning a provocative incident for the end of December, Sergei Lavrov said.

    "I am sure that there will be other provocations,"  Lavrov told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio.

    "Additional information that we have and tend to trust says that Poroshenko is planning an armed provocation on the Russian border, on the border of Crimea, for the end of December," the minister specified.

    Lavrov also pledged a harsh response in case Poroshenko went ahead with the plans.

    The conflict between Russia and Ukraine have deteriorated recently after three ships of the Ukrainian Navy breached the Russian border and were promptly detained by the Russian coast guard after failing to respond to a demand to stop.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the incident was a provocation staged by Kiev ahead of the upcoming Ukrainian presidential campaign.

    Putin noted that two Ukrainian Security Service officers were among the crew and were effectively in charge of the operation. The president also stressed that Russian border service agents were fulfilling their duty to protect the country's borders.

    In response to the situation in the Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian authorities introduced martial law in selected regions of Ukraine along the border with Russia as well as along the coast of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov for 30 days.

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    provocation, Sergei Lavrov, Kerch Strait, Ukraine, Russia
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