Ukraine urges NATO to deploy ships amid standoff with Russia

Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, claiming its ethnic Russian majority was under threat from the Ukrainian government.

But Erdogan has always sought to emphasise the importance of Turkey's traditionally strong relations with Ukraine, even as Kiev and Moscow remain at loggerheads.

KIEV - Ukraine has banned Russian adult men aged 16-60 years from entering Ukraine, the head of the border service Petro Tsygykal said in a televised meeting on Friday.

A Russian court on the disputed Crimean peninsula sent a second group of captured Ukrainian sailors to jail on Wednesday. "The only language he understands is the unity of the Western world", he said.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the alliance already has a strong presence in the region, and that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ships routinely patrol and conduct exercises in the Black Sea, especially those from Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey, which border the sea.

The naval boats had been sailing from Odessa to Mariupol, a Ukrainian port on the Azov sea, when they were confronted by the FSB vessels. REUTERS/Alla Dmitrieva Ukrainian soldiers patrol an area near the frontline with Russia-backed separatists in Shyrokyne, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

Orthodox communities will now have to convene at a date announced by Bartholomew I to formally form a new church, Poroshenko said Thursday. Ukraine alleges that's effectively amounted to a blockade of its ports in that sea, with Russian Federation frequently stopping and searching its ships.

President Trump has called off a meeting with Vladimir Putin to signal the United States' disapproval of Russian behaviour in the naval clash.

"We ask the Ukrainian side, too, to be sensible because we know that we can only solve things through being reasonable and through dialogue because there is no military solution to these disputes", she said.

Poroshenko said martial law will help "strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities amid increasing aggression and according to global law, a cold act of aggression by the Russian Federation".

"While desperately trying to stay in power, he is pulling the country into another scheme, followed by disastrous consequences for Ukraine, as well as for European security", said the spokesperson.

In the interview with Bild, Mr Poroshenko said Vladimir Putin wanted "nothing less than to occupy the [Azov] sea".

Tensions between Kiev and Moscow spilt over into confrontation when pro-EU protests in Ukraine led to the ousting of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

The Kremlin is deploying additional air defense systems to the occupied Crimea amid heightened tensions with Ukraine. Are we really willing to risk war with Russian Federation or China over who holds title to them? Maintaining an open maritime route through the Kerch Strait between Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov is critical to Ukraine's security and economic development.

Merkel says that beyond Ukraine, Russia has been aggressive in several other nations creating "a belt of countries that cannot develop in the way they want and we can't, as Germans, close our eyes to that".

She also accused Poroshenko of using martial law as a way of "raising his falling electoral rating in an attempt to earn points during the latest Russophobic wave".

  • Leroy Wright