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Russia slams UK over warship in Ukraine

ANI  |  London [UK] 

Russia has hit out at the United Kingdom and its Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, over the docking of HMS Echo in Ukraine's Odessa amidst the Kerch Strait row, which has worsened Russia-Ukraine relations.

"Having failed to effectively neutralise drones over Gatwick Airport, Williamson seems to be engaged in a more important matter - instigating Ukraine to new military provocations," the Russian Embassy in London stated.

Quoting an official statement, Sputnik further quoted the embassy as stating, "Russia has indeed accepted the signal: it implies that the British conservative government will provide the Kiev regime with political and military support no matter how irresponsible its steps are."

"This is how London tries to 'assist' in the settlement of the internal Ukrainian conflict," the official statement underscored.

The embassy also outlined that Williamson's visit to Odessa is noteworthy "in the conditions of preparing military action on 24-25 December by the regime of [Ukraine's President Petro] Poroshenko in order to extend the martial law he imposed on the eve of the presidential elections next March."

This comes after the UK docked the frigate in the Black Sea to show the nation's "solidarity" with Ukraine.

On November 25, Russia impounded two small gunboats and one tugboat belonging to Ukraine, along with the detaining the Ukrainian crew on board near the Kerch Strait. Russia has since stated that Ukraine provoked the country by crossing the Russian maritime border despite Russia's warning to stop.

Both the European Union and the United States have supported Ukraine amid the row and have slammed Russia while calling for the immediate release of the detained crewmen.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 22 2018. 23:55 IST