Russia blocks Ukrainian Azov Sea ports: minister

Ukrainian naval ships, which have been just lately seized by Russia’s FSB safety service, are seen anchored in a port in Kerch, Crimea November 28, 2018. REUTERS/Alla Dmitrieva

KIEV (Reuters) – Two Ukrainian Azov Sea ports, Berdyansk and Mariupol, are successfully below blockade by Russia as vessels are being barred from leaving and getting into, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, stated on Thursday.

Overall, 35 vessels have been prevented from finishing up regular operations and solely vessels shifting in direction of Russian ports on the Azov Sea are permitted entry, he stated on Facebook.

“The goal is simple – by placing a blockade on Ukrainian ports on the Azov Sea, Russia hopes to drive Ukraine out of our own territory – territory that is ours in accordance with all relevant international laws,” he stated.

Omelyan stated 18 vessels have been awaiting entry into the Azov Sea, together with 4 to Berdyansk and 14 to Mariupol. There can be a line of 9 vessels to go away the Azov Sea and eight different vessels are standing by close to the port berths.

Grain and metal dominates the Azov ports shipments.

Russia seized three Ukrainian navy ships and their crews on Sunday close to the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014, over what it stated was their unlawful entry into Russian waters – a cost Ukraine strongly rejects.

The United States and the European Union have each imposed sanctions on Russia over its conduct towards Ukraine since 2014, when Moscow seized Crimea after a pro-Russian chief was toppled in Kiev.

Moscow later backed pro-Russian separatists in jap Ukraine in a battle wherein greater than 10,000 folks have been killed. Major preventing ended with a 2015 ceasefire however lethal exchanges of fireside are nonetheless frequent.

(This model of the story corrects typo, fixes part on demise toll from Ukraine battle)

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Robert Birsel, Richard Balmforth

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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