Russian FM says there is no interest in severing diplomatic ties with Ukraine
Russia has changed its rhetoric on its relations with Ukraine. Not long ago, Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin was refusing from holding Normandy format talks, while premier Dmitry Medvedev threatened with the severance of diplomatic ties between the two neighbouring countries.
Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia: "If there is no other means left to influence the situation, the president can perhaps make such a decision."
However, as of Monday, the tone of Russia's official line is different.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said he did not think anyone would be interested in cutting off the diplomatic relations right now.
Moreover, during a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, he promised Moscow will try to influence the so-called people's republics in eastern Ukraine.
Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia: "Russia will follow its part of the way and will set the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics on a constructive direction."
However, Kremlin still insists Ukraine was planning a terrorist attack in Crimea, claiming it has proof. So far, Russia has detained nine people allegedly involved in preparations for diversive acts.
During a joint press conference with Lavrov, the German foreign minister stated that apart from Kremlin's claims, his government did not receive any independent information on Ukraine alledgedly planning terrorist attacks in Crimea.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister of Germany: "After the latest escalation in Crimea, I believe that Minsk agreements remain the main framework for conflict regulation."
Steinmeier has earlier said he expected Ukraine and Russia to refrain from any steps that could lead to further deterioration of the situation in Crimea.