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    Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev

    Ukrainian Navy Bargaining Chip in Poroshenko's Political Game - Security Council

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Kerch Strait incident has shown that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is building his election campaign on fuelling imaginary threats in the absence of a coherent programme, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

    "The provocation on the border has once again confirmed that Poroshenko intends to build his election campaign solely on fomenting imaginary threats in the absence of a coherent election programme. Following the introduction of martial law with partial restriction of the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, the abolition of presidential elections is possible under the pretext of protecting Ukraine," Patrushev said in an interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty.

    The Ukrainian Navy has become a bargaining chip in the political game of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is seeking to increase the chances of remaining in power, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev continued.

    "Ukrainian naval officers have become a bargaining chip in the political game of President Poroshenko and his associates, who are ready to resort to any crimes in pursuit of increasing their own chances of remaining in power. And, as is known, under current conditions they [chances] are small," Patrushev said in an interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty.

    Ukrainian Ships Illegally Crossing Border Violate Maritime Law

    Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has said that the illegal crossing of the Russian border by Ukrainian ships is a gross violation of international maritime law and a planned provocation.

    "The illegal crossing of the state border of the Russian Federation by Ukrainian ships is certainly a gross violation of international maritime law, it looks like a planned provocation," Patrushev said in an interview with the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty.

    The official noted that Kiev's actions had become a constant source of threats.

    "In short, Kiev’s actions have become a constant source of threats, and the Sunday incident at sea is yet another line in the list of crimes committed by the Ukrainian authorities," Patrushev said.

    READ MORE: Detained Ukrainian Naval Officer Admits Provocative Actions in Kerch Strait

    The secretary voiced his opinion amid the recent scandal between the two countries after Ukraine's Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats and the Yany Kapu tug crossed the Russian maritime border on 25 November. According to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), the vessels sailed toward the Kerch Strait, an entrance to the Sea of Azov, where the ships were seized by Russia due to the lack of reply to a lawful demand to stop. 

    In response to the situation in the Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian authorities decided on 26 November to introduce martial law in select 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.

    Related:

    Detained Ukrainian Naval Officer Admits Provocative Actions in Kerch Strait
    UNSC Reaction to Kerch Strait Incident May Encourage Kiev Provocations – Moscow
    Kerch Incident ‘Transparently Obvious Provocation’ by Kiev
    Ukrainian Provocations in Kerch Strait Executed on Direct Orders from Kiev - FSB
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    violation, border, Nikolai Patrushev, Ukraine, Russia
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