Russian Federation ignores Western calls to free captured Ukrainian ships

Russia blocks passage in Kerch Strait Near Crimea, Deploys Su-25 Jets And Ka-52 Attack Helicopters.

Ukrainian navy accuses Russia of seizing three ships after allegedly firing on them near Crimea

A decree by President Petro Poroshenko to impose martial law on his country was approved 276-30 by Ukrainian lawmakers on Monday, while the USA had severe words for Moscow at the United Nations, after Russian forces seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews near the disputed Crimea region the day before.

In Kiev, Ukraine's parliament also was deliberating on a plan to impose martial law for a period of 60 days, which would keep its military forces at a heightened state of readiness.

The vote came after an emotional address by President Poroshenko, who promised not to restrict basic freedoms.

The Ukrainian navy said two of its vessels were struck on Sunday and Russian coast guard crews boarded them and a tugboat and seized them.

The United Nations Security Council and North Atlantic Treaty Organization have urged restraint from both sides.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley blasted Russia's "violation under worldwide law", saying it was "yet another reckless Russian escalation" and "no way for a law-abiding civilized nation to act".

The US, Haley said, "would welcome a normal relationship with Russian Federation".

Reports that the Russian vessels rammed and fired on the Ukrainian ships, injuring Ukrainian crewmen, before seizing three vessels, represent "a unsafe escalation and a violation of global law", said Pompeo.

All three vessels were detained in the incident, in which three Ukrainian servicemen were wounded, according to Russian Federation. Russian media say three were injured.

Russia blocks passage in Kerch Strait Near Crimea, Deploys Su-25 Jets And Ka-52 Attack Helicopters.
Russian seizure of Ukrainian naval ships off Crimea sparks alarm

Michael Petersen, director of the Naval War College's Russia Maritime Studies Institute, said the latest confrontation is part of an effort to isolate Ukraine and force it to deal on Moscow's terms.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on Monday that the captured seamen should be treated as prisoners of war.

"I want to emphasise separately that we have all irrefutable evidence that this aggression, this attack on the Ukrainian Navy's warships was not a mistake, not an accident, but a deliberate action", he said in a statement.

'Such actions pose a threat to the security of all states in the Black Sea region and therefore require a clear response from the worldwide community, ' the statement said.

Russia's Foreign Ministry blamed Ukraine for the Strait of Kerch outbreak calling it a "planned provocation" by Kiev.

Russia's ongoing militarization of Crimea, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, poses further threats to Ukraine's independence. But she added that the administration expects Europe "to lead this effort" through a peace process known as the Normandy format, with France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russian Federation. In the past, successful military action beyond Russia's borders has buoyed his popularity.

Russian news agencies reported that Russia's FSB security service had accused Ukraine of not informing it in advance of the journey, something Kyiv denied and had said the Ukrainian ships had been maneuvering dangerously with the aim of stirring up tensions. Moscow has blocked passage through the Kerch Strait.

"Canada will always be a steadfast partner of the people of Ukraine, and we will continue to work with our allies to hold Russian Federation to account for its unacceptable behaviour", she said in a statement. "They're not thrilled. We're all working on it together", he said. Crimea, on the western shore, is now controlled by Moscow, the eastern shore is Russian territory, and the northern shore is controlled by Ukraine.

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