Russia not going to cut off ties with Ukraine, says Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said Moscow had no intention of breaking relations with Kiev.

“Despite the reluctance of current Kiev authorities to have full diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, we will create opportunities to develop contacts and support them,” Xinhua quoted Putin as saying in Crimea.

Russia was mulling additional security measures following clashes on the peninsula that killed two of its servicemen.

Russia’s Federal Security Service has accused Ukrainian authorities of masterminding an attempt to send a group of saboteurs to Crimea, which it thwarted last week. Kiev denied the accusations.

“It appears, our partners in Kiev have decided to aggravate the situation, and it is clear why,” Putin said.

Putin said the reason behind the incident was Kiev’s intention of avoiding implementing the Minsk agreements aimed at reaching a political settlement of the crisis in the country and to divert the attention of the Ukrainian people from social and economic problems.

“I hope this will not be the final choice of our partners and common sense will prevail,” he added.

Earlier in the day, Putin appointed former Education Minister Dmitry Livanov as his special representative for the development of commercial, economic and scientific relations with Ukraine.

Russia currently has no ambassador in Kiev after Putin relieved Mikhail Zurabov of his duties in July.

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