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Russia should return seized Ukrainian vessels, release their crews, - Ukraine’s MFA

The diplomats state that Moscow has actually extended its military actions against Ukraine in the sea
09:57, 26 November 2018

112 Agency

The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine expresses “categorical protest” to the Russian Federation due to the armed attack and seizure of the Ukrainian military boats “Berdyansk,” "Nikopol,” “Yany Kapu” tugboat, and the injury and capturing of the members of their crews ,as the press service of the Foreign Ministry reported.

“The attack at the Ukrainian vessels, which carried out the sea transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port with the observance of the regulations of all acting multilateral and bilateral international treaties and rules of navigation, is another act of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine…Russia actually extended its military actions against Ukraine in the sea,” the message said.

Related: Russia lifts restriction of civilian vessels movement across Kerch Strait

Official Kyiv urgently convened the UN Security Council because of the aggravation in Azov Sea. The Russians shelled and seized the vessels of the Ukrainian Naval Forces “Berdyansk,” “Nikopol,” and “Yany Kapu,” which passed from Odesa (the Black Sea) to Mariupol (the Sea of Azov), moving through Kerch Strait. The state of 23 Ukrainian sailors remains unknown.

Russian authorities said that three Ukrainian warships in the Sea of Azov illegally entered the territorial waters of the Russian Federation and headed to the Kerch Strait. 

Related: Ukraine’s parliament to consider imposing of martial law at 16:00

The boats of the Russian Border Guard Service opened fire on the ship group of the Ukrainian Navy, which was moving towards the exit from the Kerch Strait. 

Given the tough situation in the area of Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov, President Petro Poroshenko supported the offer of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine; it stipulates that the Ukrainian Parliament should consider the option to impose the martial law in Ukraine.

Related: Smoke bombs thrown at Russian Embassy in Kyiv, law enforcers prevent setting tires on fire

Kyiv demands from Moscow to immediately provide the medical service to the wounded sailors and provide them urgent return to the Ukrainian territory. According to the Naval Forces of Ukraine, six sailors are wounded and two of them are in the critical condition.

Russian military transport the trophies seized in the fight to Kerch. As the vessels were damaged in the result of the attack, the occupant should pay the compensation of the losses to the Ukrainian side.

Related: Video of Russians' ram Ukrainian Navy tugboat appeared on Web

Foreign Ministry state that all responsibility for the further escalation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov region and the disruption of the peaceful settlement of the armed Donbas conflict is held by the Kremlin regime.

The diplomats urge the countries-allies to extend the sanctions against the aggressor and provide the military aid to Ukraine for the support of its territory and sovereignty.

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