Russian Federation to deploy new S-400 missiles in Crimea amid sky-high tensions

Thursday, 29 Nov, 2018

Sources in Russian security services had said in September that a fourth system would be deployed in Crimea near Dzhankoy, a town close to Ukrainian-controlled territory.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed tensions in the Kerch Strait near Crimea with his United States counterpart Donald Trump, Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko in separate phone calls and emphasized the importance of a diplomatic solution to tensions between the two neighbors, a Turkish presidency source said Wednesday. In response to reporters' questions, the President said he was "not happy about it at all", then indicated he might see fault on both sides, saying, "we do not like what's happening either way". "We have no other information from our USA counterparts", Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state media.

The Ukrainian parliament late on Monday voted in favour of President Petro Poroshenko's request for the introduction of martial law in border areas for 30 days.

Kyiv has moved to declare martial law, which Putin dismissed as an attempt to influence popular sentiment in Ukraine ahead of the country's elections in March 2019.

Turkish president also underlined the importance of resolving the problems via diplomacy. The fracture in the Western alliance sets the stage for tense exchanges when European, US, and Russian leaders meet at a G20 summit in Argentina later this week.

Putin said in a televised speech on Wednesday that the incident was entirely provoked by the Ukrainian vessels, which refused to communicate with Russian border guards.

He also appealed for the quick release of the captured sailors, who've been given custodial sentences, saying they had clearly been forced to make confessions and should be treated as prisoners of war.

Trump told The Washington Post he was waiting for a "full report" from his national-security team about the incident.

The RIA Novosti news agency reported it would be in place by the end of the year, joining three other S-400 systems already on the peninsula. The first overt military confrontation between the two neighboring countries has raised the specter of a major conflict.

Yesterday, 12 of them were sentenced to months in custody.

Kudlow said the administration has been "extremely disappointed" by China's engagement in trade talks but the meeting between Mr. Trump and Xi on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit could be a game-changer.

"Perhaps we can break through in Buenos Aires or not", he said. He said Trump is "not going away".

He said he hoped Berlin could intervene with Ukrainian authorities "to dissuade them from further reckless acts". "Trump in general has a positive attitude".