December 3, 2018 / 9:52 AM / 16 days ago

Kremlin calls absurd accusation it has designs on Ukrainian sea ports

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov looks on during a visit to the Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus joint venture plant of Sollers and Japanese Mazda in Vladivostok, Russia September 10, 2018. Valery Sharifulin/TASS Host Photo Agency/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Monday called absurd a Ukrainian accusation it has designs on the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk in order to create a land corridor between Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

As tensions between Kiev and Moscow have risen over Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval ships and their crews on Nov. 25, some Ukrainian politicians have suggested the move was the prelude to a wider Russian invasion.

“It’s an absurd statement,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “It’s another attempt to generate tension.”

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Christian Lowe

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