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Putin says he is not planning to downgrade relations with Ukraine

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Putin says he is not planning to downgrade relations with Ukraine
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The Russian president said on Friday (August 19) he is not planning to reduce ties with Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin was speaking at a Russian Security Council meeting after Moscow accused Kyiv of attempting to stage acts of sabotage in Crimea.

Ukraine has denied Russia’s assertions.

“It appears that our partner in Kyiv has decided to escalate the situation and it is clear why they are doing that,” Putin said. “Because they do not want to – or cannot, for some reason – implement the Minsk agreements.”

Putin’s comments come after his Ukrainian counterpart warned of declaring martial law if tension in the east with pro-Russian separatists worsened.

Last week Russia’s Federal Security Service reported it had detained so-called saboteurs in Crimea and prevented terrorist acts prepared by Ukraine’s defence ministry.

Kyiv has rejected Moscow’s accusations.

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