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Italy: Lavrov says Sea of Azov issue used as 'pretext' to pressure Russia03:10

Italy: Lavrov says Sea of Azov issue used as 'pretext' to pressure Russia

Italy, Rome
November 23, 2018 at 20:07 GMT +00:00 · Published

The situation in the Sea of Azov is likely being used by Russia's 'European colleagues' as a pretext to put pressure on Russia, the country's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi in Rome on Friday.

Earlier in the week, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini commented on the inspection by Russia of Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov.

Lavrov said that Russia had been forced to increase its military and security presence in the area following threats from Ukraine to blow up the Crimean Bridge over the Kerch Strait.

"By the way, we have heard no reaction to these threats from our Western partners who are now so concerned over the absolutely legitimate actions of the Russian authorities in the Sea of Azov," Russia's top diplomat stated.

The situation in the Sea of Azov escalated in the spring of 2018 after Ukrainian border guards detained the Russian 'Nord' fishing vessel. Ukrainian officials said it "caused harm" to Ukraine's interests and "violated the rules" on visiting Crimea. The captain is still being held in Ukraine while the rest of the crew have returned to Russia.

Italy: Lavrov says Sea of Azov issue used as 'pretext' to pressure Russia03:10
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The situation in the Sea of Azov is likely being used by Russia's 'European colleagues' as a pretext to put pressure on Russia, the country's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi in Rome on Friday.

Earlier in the week, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini commented on the inspection by Russia of Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov.

Lavrov said that Russia had been forced to increase its military and security presence in the area following threats from Ukraine to blow up the Crimean Bridge over the Kerch Strait.

"By the way, we have heard no reaction to these threats from our Western partners who are now so concerned over the absolutely legitimate actions of the Russian authorities in the Sea of Azov," Russia's top diplomat stated.

The situation in the Sea of Azov escalated in the spring of 2018 after Ukrainian border guards detained the Russian 'Nord' fishing vessel. Ukrainian officials said it "caused harm" to Ukraine's interests and "violated the rules" on visiting Crimea. The captain is still being held in Ukraine while the rest of the crew have returned to Russia.

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