Kiev Strait, Dec 1 : Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said that Ukrainian authorities are discussing barring Russian vessels from entering Ukrainian ports and are considering other options of response to Moscow’s actions in the Kerch Strait incident when Russia detained three Ukrainian vessels over the violation of its maritime border.
"One of the ideas we are discussing is to prevent Russian vessels that are coming from the Sea of Azov or the Black sea from entering certain ports or to block some of the vessels [from entering]; and to restrict the possible contacts … There are a lot of ideas," Klimkin told the Ukrainian Inter TV broadcaster.
The incident in the Kerch Strait took place last Sunday. Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has said that the Ukrainian Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats and the Yany Kapu tugboat illegally crossed the Russian maritime border as they sailed toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian vessels were seized by Russia after failing to respond to a demand to stop.
Sputnik reports that on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree declaring martial law in several Ukrainian regions located near the Russian border and the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, which will be in place for 30 days, due to the Kerch Strait incident.
Putin has said that the incident appeared to have been a provocation prepared in advance as well as a pretext to introduce martial law in Ukraine ahead of the country’s presidential election since the martial law will affect the campaign set to start in late December amid Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's low approval rating. (UNI)