Russian diplomat says traffic through Kerch Strait to continue, rules must be obeyed

Russian diplomat says traffic through Kerch Strait to continue, rules must be obeyed

Passage through the Kerch Strait will continue but rules must be obeyed, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday, TASS reports.

"There are certain rules, which particularly concern weather conditions and seabed features," he said. "Everyone, including the Kiev authorities, are well aware of that," Grushko added.

The Russian diplomat pointed out that in late September, three Ukrainian Navy ships had passed through the strait with no issue whatsoever. "These rules just must be obeyed and then marine traffic will continue uninterrupted," Grushko stressed.

When speaking about the recent Kerch Strait incident, he was hopeful that "our colleagues and partners will prefer to take actual facts into consideration rather than adopt ideological approaches." According to Grushko, the Ukrainian presidential election, scheduled for March 2019, may be the reason behind the incident as incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko’s approval rating is low.

The Russian deputy foreign minister also said "everyone is concerned that tensions may escalate" but various signals proved that "the Western community does not want" that.

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