Ukraine backs martial law after confrontation at sea with Russian Federation

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

Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Firing At Its Ships In Black Sea

Martial law will be limited to 30 days instead of 60-and not affect or delay the election-and will only be in effect in 10 regions of Ukraine that border Russia, Belarus, and Transnistria, the unrecognized breakaway region of Moldova where more than 1,000 Russian troops have been stationed since 1995.

The weekend incident saw Russian Federation fire on and seize three Ukrainian vessels amid renewed tensions between the neighbours.

Most Council members condemned the increased tensions, also calling for the release of both the sailors and ships.

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

However, after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia in 2014, which violated several bilateral agreements between the two countries in addition to global law, Western nations have protested increasing Russian control, which some media call "creeping annexation".

The Ukrainian parliament late on Monday voted in favour of President Petro Poroshenko's request for the introduction of martial law in border areas for 30 days.

"The officers of the Ukrainian special service were carrying out assignments regarding counter-intelligence support for a Ukrainian naval formation, as provided for under paragraph 12 of Ukraine's law on the security service", Hrytsak was quoted as saying in an SBU press statement issued early on November 27.

"I don't think the move was militarily necessary", Clarkson told FP, adding that he thinks the move does, for Poroshenko, "act as a way of signaling the seriousness of the situation to the USA and European Union, as well as showing Ukrainian resolve to Russian Federation".

For his part, Poroshenko announced the martial law move on Monday, pending parliamentary approval. The Russian government has accused Poroshenko of somehow orchestrating the entire incident in order to postpone the election. The standoff is the result of months of rising tensions over ships navigating the Azov Sea, a body of water north of the Black Sea shared by Ukraine and Russian Federation.

"For now, the court has ordered three people held until January 25" on accusations of crossing into Russian territory illegally, Crimea's rights ombudswoman Lyudmila Lubina told AFP news agency at the court.

Ukrainian navy accuses Russia of seizing three ships after allegedly firing on them near Crimea
How Russia captured three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea

The incident showed "the arrogant and open participation of regular units of Russian troops", he said in a television address to the nation, disparaging Moscow´s insistence that its forces were not directly involved in Ukraine.

Russia's acting United Nations ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, accused the Ukrainian Navy of "staging an aggressive provocation", which he claimed was aimed at drumming up public support for Poroshenko ahead of Ukraine's presidential election in March.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin warned Tuesday the declaration of martial law might trigger a flare-up of hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

In a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin expressed "serious concern" about martial law, the Kremlin said. The other three regions border the Black Sea or Sea of Azov close to Crimea. The Russian coast guard blocked their way near the Kerch Strait and at one point rammed one of the Ukrainian vessels to keep it from passing through the narrow waterway.

A few hours earlier, President Donald Trump tweeted that European nations needed to "pay their fair share" for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation protection, adding, "Things must change fast".

The attack by the Russian Coast Guard on Sunday occurred as the three Ukrainian ships attempted to pass from the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait off eastern Crimea into the Sea of Azov for access to Ukrainian ports.

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

"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.

An emergency session of the UN Security Council was held on Monday to discuss the crisis.

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