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Russian MFA comments on situation in Sea of Azov

Ukrainian ships were accused of provocation
01:12, 26 November 2018

"ТАСС"

Maria Zakharova, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, commented on the situation in the Sea of Azov, where Russian ships seized three Ukrainian ships. Ukraine has provoked the Russian Federation, exercised pressure, and then accused it of aggression, Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

“Having torn Ukraine apart, Poroshenko and the whole Maidan company will then travel the world with lectures on the benefits of democracy (just as Saakashvili does now). They have already established peace in Donbas. Now they have taken om the Kerch Strait. They use the gang methods: first, they provoke, then impose pressure, and then charge with aggression," Zakharova wrote.

"Three vessels of the Ukrainian Navy, which previously departed from Berdyansk towards the Kerch Strait, set off on the opposite course and returned to Berdyansk," as said in the report of Russia's Federal Security Service.

Earlier, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy acted aggressively against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. 

Related: Russian forces captured three Ukrainian ships, two sailors wounded

‘Today, November 25, the ships of the Ukrainian Navy with two armored gunboats and a sea mule tugboat have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. The intention to make the transition was informed in advance in accordance with international standards in order to ensure the safety of navigation. However, contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, the Russian coast guard ships - Sobol class patrol boat, Don border guard cruiser, Mangust class patrol boat and Suzdalets anti-submarine warfare ship performed blatantly aggressive acts against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy,’ reads the message.

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. This is particularly stated in the message of the Federal Security Service border guards in Crimea.

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. 

'After leaving the 12-mile area, gunboats of the Border Guard of Russian Federal Security Service fired on the naval group of the Ukrainian Navy of Ukraine's Armed Forces. Berdyansk, small armored gunboat, was damaged,' the message says.

Related: Aggravation in Azov Sea: Poroshenko convenes military office

Related: Escalation in Azov Sea - Ukraine's MFA threatens Russia with reaction

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