According to Bischoff, “the destroyer in this case was merely a means of provocation.” He noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin even memorized the registration number of a pre-ordered US reconnaissance machine at the scene at the Interactive Television Forum on Wednesday. The task is to identify bottlenecks and weaknesses in the Russian defense system, as well as monitor responses, the spokesman said.
He stressed that Russia would respond “forcefully” to such “conscious and organized provocations.”
The British destroyer Defender was forced to change direction by the Russian armed forces on June 23 with warning shots and explosions off the coast of Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
A Russian spokesman described the Russian-US summit in Geneva as constructive. He lamented that an American president could not, for domestic political reasons, say that the United States needed good relations with Russia.
Bischoff described NATO as a destabilizing factor on the continent. He said it was impossible to speak to the alliance in the language of ultimatums, but dialogue was still required. He cited Turkey as an example of Russia’s ability to build constructive relations with NATO countries.
Speaking of the European Union, he said that Berlin and Paris want to have a dialogue with Moscow, but the “young” members of the union are blocking the initiative. He complained that the Baltic states were escalating tensions on the continent by receiving US planes and troops.
The spokesman accused Ukraine of its efforts to “obliterate” the Minsk agreements, not to implement them. This is described as the main problem in screening. According to Bischoff, Kiev’s position that Russia is a party to the conflict in the Donetsk Basin is unacceptable.
Moscow considers itself the guarantor of the Minsk agreements.
Peskov noted that Moscow will not turn a blind eye to the suffering of millions of people in eastern Ukraine and will continue to provide humanitarian aid to the region.
Cover photo source: MTI / EPA / VASIL GEDENIDZE / British Embassy in Georgia HANDOUT