Ukraine says two navy vessels hit by Russian fire

27 November, 2018, 06:57 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Russia blocks passage in Kerch Strait Near Crimea, Deploys Su-25 Jets And Ka-52 Attack Helicopters.

As Ukraine mulls imposing martial law, National Corps protester Rodion Kudryashov said the measure shouldn't last more than 30 days because it shouldn't disrupt elections planned for March.

The Ukrainian parliament approved the introduction of martial law after Poroshenko reassured some sceptical lawmakers that it would not be used to curb civil liberties or delay elections scheduled for next year.

The vote came after an emotional address by President Poroshenko, who promised not to restrict basic freedoms.

Ukraine's foreign ministry said the "aggressive actions" were a violation of worldwide law that would be met with "an global and diplomatic legal response".

But experts say that Moscow seized on a moment when many in the West were distracted with Thanksgiving celebrations and Brexit negotiations to provoke Ukraine and escalate the conflict significantly.

In a statement published on November 26, Russia's Foreign Ministry called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss Ukraine's "flagrant violation" of the rules of innocent passage in Russia's territorial sea.

Estonia condemns the Russian attack on Ukrainian Navy vessels in the Kerch Strait, Mikser said, and calls upon Russia to stop its actions and immediately release the vessels and allow them to reach a Ukrainian port.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin tweeted that the dispute was not an accident and that Russia had engaged in "deliberately planned hostilities", while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed Kyiv for what he described as a "provocation", adding that "Ukraine had undoubtedly hoped to get additional benefits from the situation, expecting the US and Europe to blindly take the provocateurs' side".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shake hands with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin after speaking to the media at the Department of State, Nov. 16, 2018, in Washington D.C.

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In recent weeks, two Ukrainian vessels passed through the Kerch Straight without incident. Since Russia annexed Crimea, tension has risen with both countries complaining about shipping delays and harassment.

Russia said the Ukrainian ships illegally crossed into Russian waters.

With relations still raw after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its backing for a pro-Moscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine, the crisis risks pushing the two countries towards a wider conflict and there were early signs it was reigniting Western calls for more sanctions on Moscow.

At this time Russian Federation closed Kerch strait with a "grounded" tanker at the bridge from Azov Sea side. He also said it should be accompanied by a "termination of relations" with Russian Federation.

European Union foreign ministers will discuss a range of issues in Brussels on Monday (19 November), including for the first time the militarisation of the Azov Sea, which according to diplomats has been effectively blockaded by Russian Federation. Ukraine's navy said that two of its vessels were struck and that Russian coast guard crews boarded them and a tugboat and seized them.

Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti, citing Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, said the three vessels of the Ukrainian navy had reversed course away from Kerch Strait. They have also led the charge against Russia's repeated violations of the INF treaty, as well as the Russian military's risky operational practices against NATO warships and jets.

Ukrainian vessels have to run a gauntlet of Russian security forces to get from the Black Sea through the bottleneck of the Kerch Strait and into the Azov Sea to reach Ukrainian ports.

Mariupol is close to the region of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists in a conflict that has caused at least 10,000 deaths since 2014.

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