Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev arrives for the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit of Heads of State and Government (ASEM11) in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, 15 July 2016. REUTERS/Wu Hong/Pool(reuters_tickers)
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday Moscow might be forced to cut diplomatic ties with Ukraine if a crisis related to a purported incident involving Ukrainian saboteurs in Crimea worsened.
Medvedev raised the possibility of such a demarche after President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine earlier this week of trying to carry out terrorist attacks in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014.
Ukraine denies sending any saboteurs into Crimea.
Medvedev said cutting diplomatic ties with Kiev was one option, but that no decision had yet been taken.
"I would not want it to end this way, but if there is no other way to influence the situation, the president could probably take such a decision," said Medvedev, according to a transcript on the Russian government's web site.
Ukraine earlier this month rejected Russia's proposed candidate for its next ambassador to Kiev after Moscow's man in Kiev stood down in July, a move that Russia interpreted as an attempt to downgrade diplomatic relations.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Andrew Osborn)