17:19 Aug. 19, 2016
Ukraine fears tensions on the peninsula can precede "full-scale Russian invasion"
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Crimea, the peninsula that was illegally annexed from Ukraine in March 2014.
According to the Kremlin's press service, Putin has already held a meeting with the members of Russia's Security Council. He will also make an appearance at a youth educational forum.
Speaking at the meeting, Russian president said he expected that common sense would prevail in the actions of Ukraine's authorities, stressing that Moscow is not planning to loosen ties with Kyiv.
"I hope these [provocations] will not be a final choice, will not be a final choice of our partners and common sense will prevail," Putin was quoted by the Russian TASS news agency.
"We are not planning to roll back our ties despite the unwillingness of the current authorities in Kyiv to have full-fledged diplomatic relations at the level of ambassadors, we will still create possibilities for developing contacts and maintaining them," he added.
Putin's visit to Crimea comes amid the sharp escalation of tension between Russia and Ukraine.
Last week Russian FSB security service claimed it thwarted terror attacks on the peninsula and detained a group of Ukrainian saboteurs. Putin accused Kyiv of choosing "terror tactics", Ukrainian officials, in their turn, denied any involvement.
According to Ukrainian authorities, the Kremlin staged the provocation to justify "full-scale Russian invasion along all fronts."