Putin is once again testing the resolve of a watching world to see how they respond to his aggressive stance with Ukraine.
Three ships of the Ukrainian Navy were moving between ports, through a narrow strait of contested waters. They gave advance notice to their Russian counterparts.
But conflict arose anyway.
The Ukraine Navy blames the Russians for using an oil tanker to deliberately block their passage between two of their own ports.
In response, Russia rammed and captured a Navy tugboat and two Navy artillery boats that were attempting to navigate the strait. The Ukranians want them back.
Several sailors were injured, some seriously in the event.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko chaired an emergency meeting of his cabinet early Monday and asked parliament to introduce martial law in response to what he described as Russian aggression.
“We consider it as an act of aggression against our state and a very serious threat,” the president said. “Unfortunately, there are no ‘red lines’ for the Russian Federation.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told reporters later Monday that Kyiv believes what happened near the Kerch Strait was no accident, but “deliberately planned hostilities.”
Poroshenko had a phone call Monday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the situation. NATO later said that at Poroshenko’s request, its ambassadors and Ukraine’s envoy will hold emergency talks in Brussels later Monday.
NATO said Stoltenberg expressed the U.S.-led military alliance’s “full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, including its full navigational rights in its territorial waters under international law.”
What will the world to this latest round of Russian interference?
Suddenly Trump’s pressure on Europe to NOT rely solely on Russian pipelines for heating fuel makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it?
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