Three Russian military ships crossed Russia’s national border, entered Russian territorial waters, and are moving from the Black Sea to the Kerch Strait, the Russian Federal Security Service said on Sunday.
Russian military ended up deploying its combat aircraft in response to several Ukrainian warships crossing Russia’s territorial waters and attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait.
According to Russian media reports, a pair of Su-25 attack aircraft was seen patrolling the area in the vicinity of the Crimean Bridge which spans the strait, while Ka-52 attack helicopters were shadowing the Ukrainian ships.
“This morning, at approximately 7:00 AM local time, three ships of the Ukrainian Navy violated articles 19 to 21 of the United Nations Convention on navigation rules, which determine the right of the coastal State to ensure security in the naval space. They crossed the national border of the Russian Federation and illegitimately entered the temporarily closed waters of the territorial sea of the Russian Federation,” the service said.
The service added that Ukrainian ships are moving from the Black Sea towards the Kerch Strait on the Crimean coast.
In addition, the Russian service pointed out that the ships of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are maneuvering in a dangerous manner, ignoring the demands of the Russian authorities.
“For the time being, [the entry permit] had not been requested, the ships had not been included in the order of passage. They are operating in a dangerous way, they do not comply with the legitimate requirements of the Russian authorities,” the service said.
Дії українських малих броньованих артилерійських катерів “Бердянськ” та “Нікополь” в районі інциденти з тарану російським ПСКР “Дон” українського буксиру “Яни Капу”
— Мілітарний портал (@mil_in_ua) November 25, 2018
In turn, Ukraine commented on the passage of their ships. According to the country’s navy, two armored artillery shells and a tugboat are sailing from the port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol.
“The Russian border guard ships […] carried out openly aggressive actions against the Ukrainian navy ships. A [Russian] border guard vessel collided with our tugboat. As a result, the ship’s main engine was damaged as well as the hull and the protection of the deck, the inflatable ransom has been lost,” the Ukrainian Navy said on its Facebook page.
According to the Ukrainian notice, Kiev had warned about the passage of ships in advance in accordance with international rules.
On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned Ukraine of attempts to revise the status of the Sea of Azov as the inland sea of both countries.
The ministry stressed that the responsibility for a possible worsening of the situation on this issue rests on the Ukrainian side, as well as on the countries that support it.