The announcement of martial law: Turchynov made a statement

April FrancisNov 27, 2018

Russian warships seized three Ukrainian naval vessels on Sunday in a narrow waterway that provides access from the Black Sea to the much smaller Sea of Azov near Crimea, ramping up already bitter tensions between the two countries.

Ukraine said a Russian border guard vessel rammed the tugboat in "openly aggressive actions" and then fired on the ships, immobilising all three.

Russia's Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, told Russian news agencies the Ukrainian ships held their course and violated Russian territorial waters, which were temporarily closed.

He believes Congress, which has previously supported Ukraine considerably with sanctions and military aid, will step up those measures in response to the Azov Sea incident.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said her country condemned the "Russian aggression" and called on Moscow to release the captured vessels.

Tensions have been long brewing over the Azov Sea.

An emergency United Nations Security Council meeting has been called for Monday morning, outgoing US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley posted Sunday evening on social media.

Russian politicians accused Ukraine of acting at the behest of its Western allies and deliberately attempting to escalate the conflict.

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The two countries have been at loggerheads since a pro-Moscow government in Ukraine was toppled more than four years ago, touching off Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine involving pro-Russian separatists. The undamaged Nikopol also is under Russian control, Ukraine said. The two artillery ships were damaged and six sailors were injured, according to Ukraine's navy, with the vessels and personnel still detained by Russian Federation.

If, instead of being able to portray Ukrainians as the aggressors, Moscow is hit by "serious new sanctions", Herbst said that would personally hurt Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's standing among Russians who would see a direct connection between his behavior and their deteriorating economy. Moscow has blocked passage through the Kerch Strait.

The statement added that Russian authorities had been informed in advance about the planned transit, involving a Ukrainian navy tugboat, along with two Ukrainian Navy artillery boats, moving from Odessa on the Black Sea, to Mariupol, in the Sea of Azov.

And in recent months, Russian Federation has begun inspecting Ukrainian vessels entering or departing Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, despite the treaties that declare the waters to be shared territory.

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 president Petro Poroshenko called a cabinet meeting and is communicating with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union (EU) regarding the tensions, according to Bloomberg.

One of Russia's goals, according to Ukraine, is getting a land corridor to the occupied Crimea.

"Nato. should send in naval ships in the Sea of Azov", the Atlantic Council's Anders Aslund also said.

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