United States to Send Warship to Black Sea Amid Kerch Strait Tensions

Ukraine concerned about large-scale deploying Russian troops along the border

The Russian moves have restricted access for Ukrainian ships to the Sea of Azov and Mariupol, an important Ukrainian trade port.

In a statement by the Embassy of Ukraine in Nigeria, Mykola Yaremchuk, first secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine said the attack on the ships was carried out during a sea crossing from the port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol, in accordance with the provisions of all effective multilateral and bilateral worldwide treaties and navigation rules.

Russia's Investigative Committee has accused the Ukrainians of illegal border crossing. The ministry also said that "the passage of ships with agricultural products through ports on the Sea of Azov have been unblocked". The rift escalated further after a naval incident on November 25 in which the Russian coast guard fired on and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign ministers are meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin on Tuesday and Wednesday as Ukraine seeks worldwide backing for its Black Sea standoff with Russian Federation.

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The House of Commons leader, Andrea Leadsom, also told Parliament the vote would go ahead on December 11. This is a point in time when everybody should be thinking of the national interest.

Speaking before the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged Russian Federation to release the Ukrainian sailors and ships and to allow free navigation and unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.

The Ukrainian church has been part of the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has pushed for the creation of an independent church as he faces March's presidential election. Poroshenko responded by declaring 30-day martial law in much of Ukraine.

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

Poroshenko, who has made an independent church one of the main slogans of his not-yet-announced re-election bid, said that Orthodox communities would gather on December 15 to adopt the charter of the new Ukrainian church and choose its leader.

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