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Russia not planning to downgrade relations with Kiev — Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he expects that common sense will prevail in the actions of Ukraine's authorities, stressing that Moscow is not planning to reduce ties with Kiev.
"I hope these [provocations] will not be a final choice, will not be a final choice of our partners and common sense will prevail," Putin said at the meeting with the members of Russia's Security Council.
"We are not planning to roll back our ties despite the unwillingness of the current authorities in Kiev to have full-fledged diplomatic relations at the level of ambassadors, we will still create possibilities for developing contacts and maintaining them," he said.
Putin said to this aim a decision has been taken to appoint former Minister of Education and Sciences Dmitry Livanov the president's special envoy for trade and economic, science and technical relations with Ukraine. The experience of Livanov, his character and persistence will have "a positive role" in fulfilling his functions, the president added.
Attempted sabotage in Crimea
The president however noted that the attempt at staging acts of sabotage in Crimea was made because Kiev was either unwilling or unable to implement the Minsk Accords.
"It is clear why that was done. They (Ukraine) are reluctant or unable to implement the Minsk Accords," Putin said at a meeting of the Security Council on Friday. "They are unable to explain to their own people the considerable mistakes in socio-economic policies."
In his opening remarks at the meeting, also attended by the presidential representative in the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov, Putin said that extra measures to enhance the safety of Crimean residents and the peninsula's guests would be the focal point of the discussion.
"It is clear that we have gathered for a well-known reason and after a well-known incident - the abortive penetration of Ukrainian saboteurs," Putin said. "It looks like our partners in Kiev have made a decision to aggravate tensions, and it is clear why they did that."
"Fanning tensions is a well-known trick. It has been used from time immemorial," Putin said. "Sometimes successfully, and sometimes not."
Putin in Crimea
The president arrived in Crimea on Friday for the first time after the recently foiled terrorist attacks on the peninsula prepared by Kiev. Ahead of the meeting with the Security Council members he met with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. During the trip, Putin will also attend the Tavrida youth educational forum.
At the previous meeting with the Security Council on August 11, the president discussed beefing up security measures for Crimea's citizens and infrastructure facilities following the foiled terrorist attempts there earlier this month. Security structures are thoroughly scrutinizing scenarios for taking anti-terrorist measures on Crimea's land border, in its territorial waters and airspace the Kremlin press service reported.
Last week, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced it had thwarted a sabotage attempt in Crimea plotted by Ukraine's Defense Ministry's main intelligence directorate. A group of saboteurs was spotted in the small hours of August 7 near the city of Armyansk, close to the border with Ukraine. Two Russian servicemen were killed in the process of detaining the terrorists. The aborted terror attempts were designed to target Crimea's critical infrastructure and vital facilities, the FSB revealed.
[Source: Itar Tass, Belbek Airport, Sevastaopol, 19Aug16]
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