MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said earlier on Wednesday it had dismantled a spy ring organized by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Crimea, detaining both Russian and Ukrainian nationals involved in preparing terrorist attacks on the peninsula.
"It looks like the people who have seized power in Kiev and continue to hold on to it, instead of looking for the compromises that we have talked about in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, instead of looking for ways to reconcile peacefully, they have resorted to terrorist practices," Putin told reporters.
Two Russian servicemen died while thwarting the allegedly Ukrainian-led terror plots in Crimea, this will not be ignored, Putin said.
"I want to note and I think this has already been reported in the media, that two servicemen were killed. We shall not ignore this."
Earlier this month, a bomb exploded on a road near Plotnitsky's car. He sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Holding a Normandy Four meeting with Ukraine, Germany and France on settling the Ukrainian conflict at the upcoming G20 summit in China would be futile given the uncovering of a spy ring organized by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Crimea, the Russian president said.
"This is very worrying information. Security services have, in fact, prevented the intrusion of a Ukrainian Defense Ministry sabotage and reconnaissance mission from Ukrainian territory. And, of course, holding a meeting in the Normandy format in China given these conditions is pointless," Putin said.
According to the Russian president, the plot was an attempt to distract the Ukrainian people’s attention from the country’s leadership.
"An attempt to provoke an outbreak of violence, to provoke a conflict is nothing else but a desire to divert attention of the country’s society from the people who have taken over the power in Kiev, who continue robbing their own people to remain in power for as long as possible and to continue robbing its own people," he stressed.
"There is no point to carry out such campaigns other than to divert attention of its own people from the dire situation of the [Ukrainian] economy, of the dire situation of a significant number of people," Putin told reporters.