Ukraine lodges protest at International Maritime Organization over tensions in Kerch Strait

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-04 04:21:06|Editor: yan
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KIEV, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Kiev has lodged a protest at the International Maritime Organization over the seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors by Russia in the Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"The delegation of Ukraine expressed its strong protest to the Russian Federation in connection with the armed attack and capture of the three Ukrainian Navy ships as well as capturing of members of their crews," the ministry said on Facebook.

Kiev also condemned the inspection of commercial vessels heading to Ukrainian ports through the Kerch Strait, it said.

On Nov. 25, three Ukrainian naval ships and more than 20 sailors attempting to sail through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov were seized by Russian forces for allegedly violating the Russian border.

The Ukrainian Navy said that it had informed Russia in advance of the passage, while Russia said it had received no such report and the ships ignored multiple warnings by the Russian border guards.

Ukraine has accused Moscow of "aggressive actions" in the Sea of Azov after Russia inaugurated a bridge over the Kerch Strait in May this year and started inspecting commercial ships sailing through the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

Russia said the inspections of ships are aimed at ensuring security in the waters of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait and do not violate international law.