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Kremlin Denies Accusation it Has Designs on Ukrainian Sea Ports

05 Décembre 2018

The clash last week off the coast of Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, left 24 Ukrainian sailors and three navy ships in Russian hands and sent tensions soaring.

Asked whether the thaw marked the end of tensions with Russia, Poroshenko said "definitely not".

Putin - who has praised his navy for defending Russian territory - "provided exhaustive explanations on this incident in the Black Sea, explaining everything in detail, in exactly the same manner as yesterday during his meeting with the French president", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Interfax. Kremlin-backed forces annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014, and a Russian-speaking majority voted to join Russia in a referendum the West and Kiev have considered illegal ever since.

He said, "We must ensure we are able to continue to keep all allies safe and secure and will take the necessary decision to ensure this happens in the future". "It is very hard to predict when it will occur to him to begin active combat actions against Ukraine".

"The ships can now proceed through the Kerch Strait towards the Ukrainian ports".

The Ukrainians, charged with illegally crossing Russia's borders, face up to six years in prison, Nikolai Polozov, one of the defence lawyers in the case, told AFP on Tuesday. However, it declined to "activate" it until all conditions were met with the process held up over the registration of defense property like military barracks and buildings used by the defense ministry.

"Romania, Turkey and Bulgaria are all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations with a Black sea littoral".

Ukraine was also expecting help from allies, mostly the United States, for equipment including air and naval reconnaissance, boats, and weapons for ground troops, he said.

The incident was the biggest escalation in the conflict between the two former Soviet states since Russian Federation seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

For the duration of martial law, Ukrainian authorities barred entry to all Russian men aged 16 to 60 in a move the Ukrainian leader said was needed to prevent Russia from further destabilizing the country. In addition to the war-torn country under the rule of Bashar al-Assad, other countries that have received Level 4 advisories in 2018 include Iraq, Iran, Central African Republic, Syria, North Korea, Mali, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen and South Sudan.

Poroshenko said some reservists will be called up for training as part of the order and some military units will be redeployed.

He noted that the Kerch Strait incident "has elicited a lot of emotions in European countries". All three Ukrainian ships were detained in the Black Sea. "Russia must release the Ukrainian sailors and ships".

"But it seems to me that it's very important for us and for them to find a way of meeting before then", said Ushakov. Moscow sees dominance of the region through military pressure as a way to weaken the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance and European security architecture, enabling it to coerce former Soviet-bloc countries to return to Russia's orbit.

Kremlin Denies Accusation it Has Designs on Ukrainian Sea Ports