Published: Thu, November 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Naval standoff: Vladimir Putin blames Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Naval standoff: Vladimir Putin blames Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

The sailors have been put before a court in Simferopol, the main city in Russian-annexed Crimea, and ordered to be held in pre-trial detention for two months.

On Sunday, Russian forces seized three Ukrainian vessels and their crews in the Black Sea.

The clash in waters near Crimea was by far the biggest confrontation at sea after more than four years of war between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, where more than 10,300 civilians and combatants have been killed.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda was more emphatic, declaring that if there was a move to impose "further sanctions against Russia, Poland will join them".

It's part of the long-simmering conflict between the two countries, in which Russian Federation annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and supported separatists in Ukraine's east with clandestine dispatches of troops and weapons.

Turkey, as well as the UN General Assembly, viewed the annexation as illegal.

Poroshenko has said that at least six of the 24 detained personnel from the three ships were wounded by Russian fire.

"We repeated a categorical demand to the Russian side to immediately release the captured citizens of Ukraine from custody and ensure their safe return to their homeland", the statement said.

"Ukraine is under threat of full-scale war with Russia", Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Tuesday, adding that the number of Russian units stationed along the border had "grown dramatically".

Martial law gives Ukrainian authorities the power to mobilise citizens with military experience, regulate the media and restrict public rallies in affected areas.

Ukraine has imposed martial law in some of its border regions in response to the incident, and with a growing number of other European countries, urged Western allies to impose additional sanctions on Moscow.

"They were fulfilling their military duty".

Ukraine said its ships did nothing wrong and have every right to use the strait without Russian permission.

Lavrov said Ukrainian warships had ignored maritime law when they tried to enter the Kerch Strait, aiming to create a scandal for domestic political purposes and USA encouragement for such acts "saddens me greatly".

The episode risks derailing a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 in Argentina later this week. Germany and France, however, have called for efforts to ease tension between Ukraine and Russian Federation. "In economic terms we need to decide if we are going to follow the economic globalization and free market or if we are going to choose unilateralism and protectionism". But for now the unity of the 28 is key. One say Putin said that the collapse of the URSS was the biggest geopolitical tragedy of the XX century.

Makeyev said that Moscow has been militarising Crimea since 2014 bringing in "new weapon systems including nuclear capable aircraft and missiles as well as military personnel".

"Russia remains wrongly convinced that the reaction of the West isn't unified ... because in energy matters there is one stance and in defense matters there is another", he told Reuters, in reference to some European Union states such as Germany backing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, increasing their reliance on Russian energy.

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