07:28 GMT07 April 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian-US relations have become a victim of the provocation which the Ukrainian authorities have carried out in the Kerch Strait, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Thursday.

    "Our bilateral Russian-US relations are in the position of a victim of the provocation which the Ukrainian side performed near Kerch," Peskov told Russia’s Channel One.

    Russian-Ukrainian relations were in a far worse state than they had been before the beginning of the Ukrainian election campaign, Peskov continued. "President [of Ukraine Petro] Poroshenko needs to boost his popularity rating by any means," the Kremlin spokesman suggested.

    Peskov continued by suggesting that there was no one around Trump who could say to the US president that the Kerch Strait incident was a "double-sided situation" and recommend him to meet Putin, ask the Russian leader about the situation and "maybe express potentially negative opinion about what happened."

    The Kremlin spokesman noted that instead, there were people close to Trump who were ready to use every action of Poroshenko to add an anti-Russia flavor to it. Peskov also suggested that the Ukrainian president would continue escalating Kiev’s relations with Moscow for his "election-related purposes."

    READ MORE: IMF to Allocate First Tranche of $3.9Bln Loan Package for Ukraine

    Peskov also pointed out on Thursday that Washington has to babysit Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko despite his low popularity ahead of the presidential election.

    "Unfortunately, Washington has to babysit Poroshenko, even despite his rather poor electoral prospects. Too much money has been put in Ukraine, to much money has been put in justifying this overthrow," Peskov told Russia's Channel One.

    Peskov suggested that such investment in the Ukrainian leadership should have paid off, but this did not work out. "That is why the situation needs to be saved. Thus, we can see these absolutely unprecedented actions," Peskov pointed out.

    The detained Ukrainian ships are delivered to the port of Kerch
    Press service of border management of FSB of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Crimea
    On November 25, Ukraine's Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats and the Yany Kapu tugboat illegally crossed the Russian maritime border as they sailed toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian vessels were seized by Russia after failing to respond to a demand to stop.

    Following the incident, Poroshenko signed a decree declaring martial law in several Ukrainian regions located near the Russian border. Putin has said that the incident was a provocation prepared in advance as a pretext to introduce martial law, suspending voting rights, ahead of Ukraine's presidential election since Poroshenko’s popularity ahead of the vote was low

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

    US President Donald Trump has canceled his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was planned to be held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina, citing the fact that Russia had not returned to Ukraine the ships and sailors it had detained in the Kerch Strait after they had illegally crossed the Russian border.

    Poroshenko came to power after what many consider to be an overthrow of former president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

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    Tags:
    relations, conflict, investment, policy, Dmitry Peskov, Petro Poroshenko, Kerch Strait, United States, Russia, Ukraine
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