Russian coast guard rams Ukranian navy tugboat in Black Sea standoff

Russia’s coast guard ships intentionally rammed Ukranian Navy vessel

Russian Navy tried to block Ukrainian Navy from entering Azov sea on Nov 25, when 2 Ukrainian Navy small gun ships BERDYANSK and NIKOPOL, and Navy tug YANA KAPU, transited Kerch Strait, while en route from Black Sea Navy Base to Ukrainian Port of Mariupol in Azov sea.

Ukrainian envoys are to attend a special meeting of the NATO Ukraine commission in Brussels on Monday afternoon, which has been called at the request of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

With relations still raw after Russia's annexation of Crimea and its backing for a pro-Moscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine, the incident risks pushing the two countries towards a wider conflict.

They say that two Ukrainian sailors have been injured as a result of the conflict around the Kerch Strait by the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Avakov called the 1 minute and 15 second video proof of Russian "aggression" and said he was looking forward to receiving support from Ukraine's allies in response.

On the other side, Russia's Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, said that the Ukrainian ships violated Russian territorial waters, which were temporarily closed.

The Ukrainian ships were on a journey through the Black Sea, having left the Ukrainian port city of Odessa and heading to Mariupol on the Azov Sea coast, the government-controlled Ukrainian city that is closest to the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.




The Ukraine escalation comes amid wider Russian aggression in Europe, which includes sabre-rattling in the Baltic Sea region, an attempted assassination in the United Kingdom, cyber attacks, and election meddling.

Ukraine claims the tug was rammed.

Tensions have risen in the seas off Crimea in recent months.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Facebook the incident was characteristic of Ukrainian behaviour - provoke, pressure and blame for aggression.

Both countries accused each other of breaking global law after Russian border guards tried and failed to stop two Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels circumnavigating Crimea en route to a Ukrainian port. "They carry a security threat to all states of the Black Sea region, and therefore require a clear response from the global community", the statement summarizes.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters declined to say Monday whether its ambassadors would meet to discuss the incident, but the alliance is in contact with Ukrainian authorities.

"We have acknowledged the events in Ukraine and Russian Federation with great concern", German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a regular press conference. "Such actions pose a threat to the security of all states in the Black Sea region", the statement from the ministry reads, "and therefore require a clear response from the worldwide community", AP reported.

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