US, NATO Warn Russia of Potential Consequences for Attack on Ukrainian Navy

28 November, 2018, 06:39 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Screenshot BBC

The Ukrainian navy, on the other hand, said Russian border patrol vessels "carried out openly aggressive action" against the Ukrainian ships.

Kyiv called Russia's actions a flagrant violation of worldwide law, because the Black Sea is free for shipping, and Crimea belongs to Ukraine.

The escalation over the weekend was the first overt military confrontation between Russian Federation and Ukraine, who've been locked in a tense stalemate since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that he will ask the Ukrainian Parliament to impose martial law.

After the incident, Russian media accused Ukraine of staging a "provocation" and violating Russia's borders.

The restrained martial law order will still have very real consequences-including the fact that Poroshenko could try to renew the order in late December.

But even as the Verkhovna Rada demonstrated that it could act to balance the president's authority, observers still wonder about Poroshenko's real intentions-and about what martial law, even if it's limited in scope, might still bring to the country.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry already announced earlier in the day that its troops were on full combat alert in the country.

The move will include a partial mobilisation and strengthening of the country's air defence. The measures before parliament also included vaguely worded steps such as "strengthening" anti-terrorism measures and "information security".

He accused Ukraine of having "provoked" the incident "in the hope that the USA and Europe, as always, recklessly, will take [its] side". Russian politicians have accused Poroshenko of deliberately instigating the standoff to boost his flagging popularity ahead of elections in March.

European Council President Donald Tusk backed Poroshenko's calls for the release of the sailors via Twitter. Ukraine's government declared martial law on Monday in response to the attack, and the incident led to public protests and worldwide condemnations of Russian Federation.

"He underlined that the introduction of martial law will not hinder the working of the democratic institutions of Ukraine, and will not create any problems for the upcoming presidential election", Stoltenberg said.

The crisis started when Russian forces fired on two Ukrainian naval ships and struck a tugboat in the Kerch Strait on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a court in Crimea ordered the first of the 24 Ukrainians captured on Sunday to be detained for 60 days.

With tensions spilling over, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas suggested on Tuesday that Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine could work together to resolve the tensions between Moscow and Kiev.

A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004 governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the words of the treaty is considered to be the "internal waters" of both Russia and Ukraine.

"We don´t like what´s happening and hopefully it will get straightened out".

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations made the remarks during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Monday.

Moscow has accused Kiev of planning Sunday's confrontation as a provocation aimed at drumming up support for Mr Poroshenko ahead of elections next year and convincing Western governments to impose further sanctions on Russian Federation.

Kaljulaid said that she is calling on the worldwide community and the leaders of the democratic world to join her in this statement and clearly, jointly and without delay condemn Russia's aggression and demand an end to it.

"Everything depends on the accounts of events and the actions of both sides".

"It's not a political issue here, because we can have an argument about the legal status, but it's about simply concentrating on protecting them and helping them", Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told the AP.

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