United Nations (United States) (AFP) - Ukraine on Thursday asked Russia to provide the UN Security Council with evidence to back up its accusations of a terror plot by Kiev in Crimea.
Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko told reporters that he had challenged his Russian counterpart to produce proof during a closed-door meeting of the council.
"If it happened in reality, where are the proofs? Statements, pictures, photos, videos, whatever," said Yelchenko.
"They are only words."
Tensions soared after Ukraine put its military on alert on Thursday following Moscow's allegations that Kiev had attempted armed incursions in the disputed territory.
Russia's security agency on Wednesday announced it had thwarted "terrorist attacks" in Crimea by Ukrainian military intelligence and beaten back an armed assault, claims Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko dismissed as "senseless and cynical."
Yelchenko said Kiev had asked UN and European observers as well as Red Cross officials to travel to Crimea and question two people detained in connection with the alleged plot.
The results of the interrogation would be presented to the Security Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said the ambassador.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters that Ukraine had carried out a "clear act of sabotage and terrorism" in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Churkin said the alleged attacks showed that "there is chaos in Kiev."
"They are trying to distract attention onto other things," he said.
Both envoys expressed hope that tensions would not escalate further.
The council discussed the crisis in Crimea during consultations requested by Ukraine, which is a non-permanent member of the council.