02:50 GMT +326 March 2019
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    A view of the new bridge across the Kerch Strait linking Russia's Taman Peninsula with Crimea, after regular traffic began, in Kerch, Crimea, Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

    Russia Will Defend Its Sovereignty, Stop Any Provocation Attempts - Moscow

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    The response comes a day after French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Russia to free the Ukranian sailors arrested during the Kerch Strait incident, as well as ensure the free passage of shipping in the Sea of Azov.

    “We are compelled again to urge our partners to abandon the obvious 'double standards' and pay attention to the real problems and threats to European security and stability, created by their 'Kiev wards'", the Russian Foreign Ministry stated Saturday, stressing that Russia "to defend its sovereignty and stop provocation attempts".

    The ministry added that Moscow regretted the accusations by Paris and Berlin of alleged human rights violations in Crimea, urging them to abandon double standards.

    READ MORE: UNGA Approves Ukraine Resolution on Navigation in Azov, Black Seas

    "At the same time, the second part of this statement, in which Berlin and Paris categorically accuse Russia of certain violations of human rights in Crimea, escalation of tension in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, put forward unacceptable demands for us, is regrettable", the ministry concluded.

    On November 25, three ships of the Ukrainian Navy breached the Russian border, entered Russian territorial waters that were temporarily closed, and began moving toward the Kerch Strait, which serves as an entrance into the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian vessels and their crew were detained by Russia after failing to respond to a lawful demand to stop.

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    Kerch Strait, Sea of Azov, Germany, Russia, France
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