TRUE? Ukraine accuses Russia of trying to ‘Occupy’ sea of ​​Azov

People look at a Russian military ship sailing in the Bay of the Crimean city of Sevastopol on March 23, 2014. Crimea's rebel leader urged Russians across Ukraine on Sunday to rise up against Kiev's rule and welcome Kremlin forces whose unrelenting march against his flashpoint peninsula has defied Western outrage. AFP PHOTO/ VIKTOR DRACHEV / AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV
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The president of Ukraine, Pyotr Poroshenko, accused Russia of blocking the entrances to the Sea of ​​Azov to effect its “occupation”.

“This is a brutal violation of international law, and we can not accept it. We have strengthened our [military] presence there and are filing a complaint against Russia in the Permanent Court of Arbitration,” said the Ukrainian leader in an interview to the Washignton Post .

According to Poroshenko, the blockade of a Ukrainian vessel coming from the port of Mariupol loaded with metal products for at least one day causes thousands of dollars in losses.

“If Russia does not stop, we have only one tool – sanctions,” he said.

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Russian Federation Council deputy Mikhail Sheremet said Russia had been forced to tighten security measures in the Sea of Azov in response to terrorist and piracy threats by the Ukrainian authorities.

“Strengthening security measures in the Azov Sea is a measure of appeal in response to terrorist and piracy threats from the Ukrainian authorities. Russia should ensure the safety of its fishermen, peaceful citizens, including ships entering the Sea of ​​Azov, against the aggressive and unpredictable policy of the Ukrainian authorities, willing to hijack vessels and hold citizens, just like Somali pirates,” Sheremet said in an interview, exemplifying his words with the arrest of the Russian fishing vessel Nord by the Ukrainian regime authorities in March of this year.

Kiev has accused Moscow of blocking the entry of ships that go to the Ukrainian ports through the Kerch Strait. According to the Ukrainian authorities, the stopping of vessels is causing damage to their owners.

In turn, the Russian Federal Security Service denies this information, stating that all inspections of foreign vessels are carried out in accordance with international maritime law and that there are no complaints or complaints from Ukrainian shipowners.

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