Ukraine says cargo traffic resumed in Sea of Azov

Ukraine says cargo traffic resumed in Sea of Azov

Kramp-Karrenbauer, a close Merkel ally, on Friday said the European Union and the United States should consider banning from their ports Russian ships originating from the Sea of Azov in response to the incident.

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.

President Petro Poroshenko is fearful that Putin could try to seize the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk, located around the Sea of Azov.

The tug-of-war between the neighbouring countries over Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine escalated following a November 25 incident in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 seamen on board. The measure, which affects the regions closest to Russia's military bases, was condemned by the Kremlin, which said the move would escalate the conflict.

Trump revealed his decision on Twitter on Thursday, November 29, by sharing the message, "Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russian Federation, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting..."

Mariupol and Berdyansk were "partially unblocked", said Volodymyr Omelyan.

Just over a week ago, Russian Federation blocked three Ukranian naval ships from passing from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, which both countries technically share under a 2003 treaty.




Following the incident, Kiev authorities declared martial law in several Ukrainian regions located near the Russian border and the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

"The passage of vessels with agricultural products through ports in the Azov Sea has been unlocked", Ukraine's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday in a statement.

Last week's incident was the first open military confrontation between Russian Federation and Ukraine since 2014, when Moscow annexed the Crimea peninsula and pro-Kremlin separatists in the east entered into conflict with Ukrainian forces.

Amid fears of a Russian invasion, Poroshenko introduced martial law on Tuesday for up 30 days in parts of the country deemed most vulnerable to a potential attack. He warns that Russian Federation intends to push further inland into Ukraine following last week's naval clash between their forces in the Black Sea.

Putin spoke to reporters after the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, where President Donald Trump cancelled a meeting with the Russian leader because of Moscow's refusal to release the 24 Ukrainians.

The Kremlin has called the naval incident a provocation meant to shore up Poroshenko's sagging popularity.

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