Russia: We're deploying missiles to Crimea because of Ukraine

Russia: We're deploying missiles to Crimea because of Ukraine

President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin pose for a photo ahead of their meeting in Helsinki on July 16.

"I'm convinced that there was a deliberate provocation by Russian forces in order to provoke Ukraine for more active measures, similar to what they did in Georgia in 2008".

The clash has prompted fears of a full-blown conflict between the two neighbouring countries.

Mr. Trump added: "I don't like that aggression".

The announcement comes three days after Russian border guards fired on three Ukrainian vessels and seized them and their crews.

The president previously addressed the recent escalation of tensions in the strait separating Crimea from mainland Russia in his address to the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group on Tuesday, saying: "We call on our Russian and Ukrainian friends to solve their problems through dialogue as soon as possible and make the Black Sea a sea of peace". Others are expected to face the court later on Wednesday. Ukraine insists they are prisoners of war, says some were seriously injured in the confrontation and has asked the International Red Cross to arrange a visit to see them.

It has raised fears of a wider escalation - in a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people since 2014 - and prompted global calls for restraint. It was not clear if the men were talking under duress, but one was clearly reading from a script. Ukraine has called that broadcast "a crime" committed by Russian Federation.

Poroshenko's original proposal _ to impose martial law in Ukraine for two months after the clash with Russian Federation _ would have meant the March president vote would have to be scrapped due to election rules. "It is an excuse to introduce martial law in Ukraine", RIA Novosti cites the president.

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In a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday, Putin expressed "serious concern" over its introduction.

"They have nothing else to do", Putin said during a business forum in Moscow.

Russian border guards have captured the vessels and the crews.

Ukraine's naval commander, Igor Voronchenko, said the sailors were pressured into giving false evidence.

The court rulings put the sailors in a situation similar to that of several Ukrainians, including film director Oleh Sentsov, who are being held in Russian prisons and jails for what Kyiv and Western governments say are political reasons.

The foreign minister of Austria, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, said Tuesday that the bloc will next month consider further sanctions against Moscow over the flare-up.

"This meeting is necessary for both sides", Ushakov said.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for "maximum restraint", urging both sides "to take steps without delay to contain this incident and reduce tensions".

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