Russia rejects the criticism of Merkel and Macron for the situation in Crimea and the Azov Sea

Russia rejects the criticism of Merkel and Macron for the situation in Crimea and the Azov Sea



The Russian Foreign Ministry today rejected criticism of the worrying situation in the Crimea and the Azov Sea on Friday in a joint statement by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We are forced to turn again to our partners to renounce the double standards, and pay attention to the real problems and threats that their 'pupils in Kiev' are creating for European security and stability," said the Foreign Ministry statement. Russian.

Russia regrets that Berlin and Paris accuse Moscow of "alleged" human rights violations in the Crimea, of being solely responsible for the escalation of tension in the area of ​​the Kerch Strait, which links the Black and Azov seas, and present "inadmissible" demands.

Regarding the demand that "all ships benefit from a safe, free and unhindered passage" in the Kerch Strait, the official note insists that Russia already guarantees "free transit".

Although qualifies that he can not ignore "the risks to security, and threats and possible provocations by Ukraine and their 'friends' in the West."

According to Macron and Merkel, he also called "unsuccessful" the attempts to "cast doubt" on the legal status of Crimea, and recalled that it was the Crimeans who decided "freely" in a referendum to join Russia.

"Russia will continue to defend its sovereignty firmly and to stop any attempt at provocation," the Foreign Ministry emphasizes.

In their joint statement after meeting last night in Paris, Macron and Merkel were "very concerned" about "the human rights situation in the Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia, the use of Russian military force in the Kerch Strait and the inspections excessive in the Sea of ​​Azov are sources of deep concern ".

In addition, they demanded "the immediate and unconditional release of the Ukrainian sailors so that they can spend the holidays with their relatives", in reference to the 24 crew members of the three Ukrainian Navy ships captured by Russian coastguards on November 25 in the Black Sea .

The sailors, who have declared themselves prisoners of war, are in preventive detention in Moscow and the Crimean Justice has rejected in the last day the appeals presented by their lawyers for their liberation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended the use of force by the Russian coastguards before what he described as "provocation" to improve the positions of his Ukrainian colleague, Petro Poroshenko, in the polls.

Poroshenko described as "aggression" the capture of Ukrainian ships, a naval incident that led US President Donald Trump to cancel the planned meeting with Putin on December 1, as part of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

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