“It must be borne in mind that our Western partners are exacerbating the situation [Ukrainas dienvidaustrumos]”Providing Kiev with lethal modern armaments, provocative military maneuvers in the Black Sea, and not only in the Black Sea but also in other regions close to our borders,” Putin told the Foreign Ministry ‘s expanding panel on Thursday.
“As for the Black Sea, the last one goes beyond certain frames. Strategic bombers fly 20 kilometers from our country’s borders, but they are known to have very serious armaments,” the Russian leader said.
On November 10, the Russian armed forces announced the activation of NATO reconnaissance aircraft in the Black Sea region, some of which had flown 30 kilometers from the Russian border.
In February 2014, Russia occupied the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula. Since April 2014, Moscow-backed and armed militants, saboteurs and soldiers of Russia’s regular units have occupied large areas in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of eastern Ukraine.
In the conflict in eastern Ukraine, 13,000 people have been killed and almost three million have fled.
Punishing Russia for annexing Crimea and destabilizing Eastern Ukraine, the EU, the US and other Western countries have imposed sanctions on many of Russia’s top officials, the people of the Kremlin’s immediate circle, and Russia’s financial, defense, energy and other sectors.