Russia has reacted to the way the British government and the media have covered a recent flare-up of tensions on Ukraine, saying the ruling Conservative Party is trying to capitalize on any opportunity to pile more pressure on Moscow.
The Russian embassy in London said Thursday that the UK government was pursuing the same policy of blaming Russia for any escalation on Ukraine, saying British authorities were deliberately ignoring the fact that it was the Ukrainian military that caused the recent tensions in the Sea of Azov by illegally entering into Russian waters in the Kerch Strait.
The embassy said “that Kiev’s confrontational policy, which contradicts regional and international security interests, is supported by the UK Conservative Government, which uses every opportunity, however absurd, to maintain ‘pressure’ on Russia.”
“Blaming Russia for an ‘escalation in the Sea of Azov,’ London conceals the fact that on November 25 the Ukrainian side violated the Russian border in the place that had been Russian territory even before the events of 2014,” said the embassy, referring to the year a political crisis erupted in Ukraine with the rise of a pro-Western government in Kiev at the expense of a Russia-backed one.
Russia has refused calls for release of three Ukrainian military vessels and a group of sailors, saying they should stand trial for violating Russia’s sovereignty.
Russia and the UK have seen their ties ebbed to unprecedented lows since March, when London accused Moscow of ordering a poisoning attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in the southern English town of Salisbury.
Moscow has denied any involvement, with authorities saying the entire story was a product of Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service to alienate Russia amid tensions on Ukraine.
Some also believe that heightened anti-Russia rhetoric in Britain is an attempt by the Conservative-led government to defuse growing internal tensions over its Brexit policy.