December 1, 2016 / 12:35 PM / a year ago

France worried by Russian warships off Crimea coast, urges restraint

PARIS, Dec 1 (Reuters) - France called for restraint between Russia and Ukraine after warships from Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet took up position off Crimea’s western coastline in response to the start of Ukrainian missile tests nearby.

“France is concerned about the deployment of Russian warships off Crimea’s coastline,” Foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal told reporters in a daily briefing. “We call on all parties to refrain from all escalation and urge dialogue to which France is ready to contribute in all possible ways.”

Kiev began two days of missile tests on Thursday, angering Russia, which has put its air defence forces on high alert saying it hopes the war games won’t disrupt international flights.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. (Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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