BERLIN, Germany – Ukraine has tried to draw Germany into the ‘war’ in Ukraine, German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel told N-TV.
“I think we should not allow Ukraine to involve us into war. Ukraine tried to do that,” said the German diplomat, commenting on the incident in the Kerch Strait.
He also expressed the hope that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will “lead the parties to normal relations.”
Recently, in an interview with the German newspaper Funke Media, the Ukrainian leader Pyotr Poroshenko spoke about the need for Germany and its allies to increase their military presence in the Black Sea “as a deterrent to Russia.” Excerpts from the interview were posted on their website.
Previously, Poroshenko had already been hopeful that NATO would support him by sending NATO ships to the Black Sea after the incident in question.
Incident in the Kerch Strait
On 25 November, three Ukrainian ships violated the Russian border by entering the territorial waters of the country and performing dangerous maneuvers. As the Ukrainian vessels ignored the warnings of the Russian authorities, the border guard had no choice but to stop the ships with 24 crew on board – the court opened a criminal case against the sailors.
Soon after the incident, Kiev introduced martial law in 10 regions of the country for 30 days, all bordering Russia or Russian allies. The law temporarily limits the constitutional freedoms and rights of citizens, including the right to vote and freedom of expression.
Moscow has qualified the incident as a provocation that is explained by the low popularity of President Pyotr Poroshenko on the eve of the presidential election. It is unlikely that this stunt by Poroshenko will be enough to raise his popularity.