Russian Federation blocks Ukrainian navy from entering Sea of Azov

Russian Federation blocks Ukrainian navy from entering Sea of Azov

Russian Federation blocks Ukrainian navy from entering Sea of Azov

An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council was called for Monday, while the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation called for restraint from both sides.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has demanded the immediate return of the country's sailors and ships, calling the FSB's actions a violation of global law.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday accused Ukraine of deliberately organising what it called a provocation in the Black Sea by sending its ships through the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait with no advance warning and ordering them to ignore Russian orders to stop.

Ukraine said six of its servicemen were injured in the incident, two seriously.

Another sailor, named as Sergey Tsybizov, also claimed that the Ukrainian sailors had been warned.

Moscow is able to control access between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea after it built a bridge that straddles the Kerch Strait between Crimea and southern Russian Federation. The ships were headed north from Odessa to Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. The decision is meant to put troops at a higher state of combat readiness for 30 days in areas where Ukraine shares a border with Russian Federation.

In Kerch, two Russian police officers with automatic rifles stood on the pier where the Ukrainian vessels were moored.

"The United States supports Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters, as well as the right of its vessels to traverse global waters", Pompeo said. An extraordinary meeting of NATO-Ukraine ambassadors is planned in Brussels later Monday.

Britain, Canada, France, Germany and others expressed support for Kiev on Monday, with EU President Donald Tusk calling for Russian Federation to return the Ukrainian sailors and ships and "refrain from further provocations".

Members of the 450-member Verkhovna Rada, the parliament, who were present voted 276-30 to support the measure after the president agreed to dilute its scope.

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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.

The confrontation in the Sea of Azov has threatened to open a new front in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has varied in intensity since Russian troops occupied Crimea in 2014.

Russian officials say the Ukrainian vessels made an unauthorized passage through Russian territorial waters. The three wounded sailors were not in a serious condition and were recovering in hospital.

"All hell broke loose" as the Russian Coast Guard opened fire on the Ukrainian ships, which were awaiting assurances of safe passage through the strait, said Volodymyr Yelchenko, Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations, at the emergency session of the Security Council.

The three naval vessels had been attempting to enter the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait.

"Ukrainian ships set sail from one Ukrainian port to another Ukrainian port".

The video appears to be shot from on board a Russian vessel.

Russia's deputy United Nations envoy appeared to signal the Ukrainian sailors would not be released quickly and could face a trial.

Video from the scene showed a tanker blocking the waters under the bridge and fighter jets flying near the bridge.

For his part, Poroshenko announced the martial law move on Monday, pending parliamentary approval. "And this aggression has already led to consequences".

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