The crews of Ukrainian vessels near the Kerch Strait are in combat readiness. About this said the commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine Igor Voronchenko, reports Radio Liberty.
“Our crews of armored boats are on alert and ready for a possible landing of the (Russian) landing forces,” said Voronchenko.
Commenting on the situation in which Ukrainian vessels found themselves at the entrance to the Sea of Azov, he said that now it is difficult to predict how long the Ukrainian vessels will have to wait for the opportunity to cross the strait. He also refuted the statements of Russia that the Russian ship, which allegedly ran aground, is hindering this.
“They act as they did in 2014 in the Donuzlav Bay in the Crimea, when they drowned their Russian ships, and our ships could not pass. As of now, we cannot pass either on the right or on the left side,” Voronchenko added.
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. The press office of the Ukrainian Navy reported this on Facebook.
‘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, reports TASS.
"This morning around 07:00 Moscow time, three ships of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, in violation of Articles 19 and 21 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, defining the coastal state’s right to ensure security in the maritime territory, crossed the state border of the Russian Federation, wrongly entered in the temporarily closed water area within Russian territorial waters", it is noted in the message.
It also clarifies that the vessel headed to the Kerch Strait, which has a permissive procedure for the movement and anchorage of vessels, in accordance with the schedule of the movement and placement of vessels, approved by the captain of the Russian seaport.