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Lavrov: Moscow Has Proof That Kiev Behind 'Sabotage' in Crimea

Russian Foreign Ministry

Russia's foreign minister has claimed that Moscow possesses evidence that the Ukrainian government was behind recent violent incidents aimed at "destabilizing the situation" in Crimea.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the announcement Monday during talks in Yekaterinburg with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

“There was a sabotage operation, planned by Ukraine’s intelligence services, which had the aim of destabilizing the situation in the Russian region of Crimea," Lavrov said. He also stated that Moscow was ready to present additional information to Western governments about the events and called on them to rein in Kiev.

“Regardless of how our Western partners choose to work with our friends in Kiev, we are taking comprehensive measures so that any future attempts at hostile incursions into our territory are nipped in the bud," Lavrov said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of “resorting to terrorism” last week after Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced they had prevented incursions into Crimea by Ukrainian "sabotage groups" planning terrorist attacks.

Ensuing armed confrontations left two Russian servicemen dead, according to the FSB. Ukraine vehemently deny the allegations, suggesting they are a pretext for further Russian aggression against the country.

Steinmeier stressed that Berlin had seen no specific evidence regarding the events in Crimea, receiving only differing information from Ukraine and Russia.

Germany, along with other Western governments, continue to apply economic sanctions against Russia over its 2014 annexation of Crimea and its role in the ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine.

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