Russian Federation has ‘partially unlocked’ Ukrainian Azov Sea ports - Kiev

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Russian Federation is resisting global calls to release three Ukrainian ships seized last month in the Kerch Strait, which controls access to the Sea of Azov near the Crimea region that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

"It's an absurd statement", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas made a statement a few hours after the foreign minister, also calling on Russian Federation to immediately release the Ukrainian ships seized and the naval personnel captured in the Kerch Strait and to take steps to alleviate tensions.

Ukrainian officials say Russia has now imposed a de facto blockade on its two main ports in the Sea of Azov by allowing only ships destined for Russian ports through the strait.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was recently granted independence from Moscow in a controversial ruling that prompted cheers from Kiev but anger in Moscow.

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.

Russian Federation has allowed some ships to enter Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov, Kyiv confirmed on Thursday.

On Sunday, November 25, Russian border guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships off the Crimean Peninsula.

But Poroshenko has pledged that martial law wouldn't interfere with the vote.

Ukraine has also barred Russian men between 16 and 60 from crossing its borders, citing the desire to prevent the formation of Russia-led "private armies" in the country.

Talking about its presence in the Black Sea, he said: "We have significantly increased our presence there. we support Ukrainian armed forces in different ways with commander control, with cyber, some allies also provide training in different areas".

The Kremlin denied allegations by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Monday that the recent seizure of Ukrainian naval ships proved Russia's plans to take Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov.

Ties between Ukraine and Russian Federation have been damaged by Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for armed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Omelyan noted that Russian shipping is unaffected.

What objections can be made if it is directly written in the register of a ship that such boats are tasked with secretly entering our territorial waters and thus crossing the Kerch Strait?, Putin asked.

Far from offering comforting words, Putin said at a post-summit press conference he saw no end in sight to the four-year conflict in eastern Ukraine "as long as the current Ukrainian authorities remain in power".

"The conflict led by the Patriarchate of Constantinople is an inter-clerical one and is unable to impact Russian-Greek relations", the diplomat stressed.

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