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Putin Appears in Crimea to Warn Ukraine of Final Choice

from TRU News:

Vladimir Putin flew into annexed Crimea on Friday a day after staging war games there, and said he hoped Ukraine would see “common sense” when it came to resolving a diplomatic crisis over the peninsula.

Two years after Russian troops seized the peninsula, it is again the focus of international tension, after the Russian president accused Kiev last week of sending saboteurs who clashed with Russian troops.

Kiev, which has also fought a two year war against pro-Russian separatists in two eastern provinces, denies the border incident ever took place and calls it a fabrication that could be used as a pretext for a new Russian invasion.

The Russian leader has used threatening rhetoric, promising unspecified “counter-measures”, and has built up troops ahead of a big military exercise next month.

He addressed the crisis again on Friday, opening a meeting of his Security Council at an air base near the naval port of Sevastopol on his first visit to Crimea since he made the initial accusations.

“It is clear that we have gathered for a well known reason after the infamous incident, after we thwarted attempts by groups of Ukrainian army saboteurs to break into (our) territory,” he said.

“Judging by all accounts, our partners in Kiev have decided to escalate the situation. We are all familiar with this method of escalation. It goes back a long way and has sometimes been used successfully but not always.

“I hope that this won’t be a final choice … and that common sense will prevail,” he added.

Read More @ TRUNews.com

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