Kiev: Russian President Vladimir Putin`s visit today to Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in March, is a "flagrant violation" of Ukraine`s sovereignty, authorities in Kiev said.
The foreign ministry said in a statement that "Ukraine expresses its strong protest over the unapproved May 9 visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and to Sevastopol city, which are temporarily occupied by Russia".
His trip, to inspect Russian naval forces based there as part of celebrations marking the World War II Soviet victory over the Nazis, came after Russia annexed the territory following the deployment of Russian troops there and a hasty referendum.
The foreign ministry said the visit "blatantly ignored Ukrainian legislation and international law".
"This provocation once again confirms that Russia deliberately seeks further escalation of tensions in Russian-Ukrainian relations and does not want to resolve problematic issues... Through diplomatic channels," the statement said.