Published: Wed, November 28, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Ukrainian parliament votes for martial law amid Russian Federation clash

Ukrainian parliament votes for martial law amid Russian Federation clash

"Ukraine is under threat of full-scale war with Russian Federation", the president said in an interview with national television.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that he will ask the Ukrainian Parliament to impose martial law.

However, after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia in 2014, which violated several bilateral agreements between the two countries in addition to worldwide law, Western nations have protested increasing Russian control, which some media call "creeping annexation".

Mr Poroshenko said it was necessary because of intelligence about "a highly serious threat of a ground operation against Ukraine".

Ukraine declared martial law in part of the country following what it called Russia's "act of aggression".

Russia's act of aggression and seizure of three Ukrainian vessels not only outlines Russian contempt for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also its disregard for the global Rules-based International System.

As several observers pointed out Monday, Ukraine's president and parliament never introduced martial law during the heights of the nastiest battles with Russian-led forces in 2014 and 2015.

The FSB claimed the ships had Ukrainian SBU intelligence agents onboard with a mission to mount what they called a "provocation" in the Kerch Strait.

Their way through the strait was blocked by a Russian tanker placed under the new bridge connecting Russia with Crimea, which was completed earlier this year.

"Russian coastguard vessels ... carried out openly aggressive actions against Ukrainian navy ships", Ukrainian authorities said in a statement, revealing that the tugboat's engine, hull, railings, and lifeboat were damaged in the incident.

The sailors have been held in Moscow since Sunday after Russian forces captured three of Kiev's ships off the coast of Crimea, sparking the most unsafe crisis between the ex-Soviet neighbours in years.

It was not immediately possible to ascertain if the men were talking under duress or had been subject to violence. At least one appeared to be reading from a script.

Vasyl Hrytsak, head of Ukraine's security service, known as the SBU, said the "real amazement" was the size of the Russian military response during Sunday's confrontation, which was larger than reported during the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Trump spoke to reporters just days before he is expected to meet with President Vladimir Putin at a G20 meeting in Argentina.

A court in the Crimean capital of Simferopol ordered Tuesday that one of the Ukrainian seamen be kept behind bars until January 26. He could be sent to prison for six years if found guilty.

Twelve of the 24 captive Ukrainian sailors were brought to a court in Crimea's regional capital, Simferopol, for a pre-trial hearing.

A video filmed from aboard a Russian vessel shows Russians chasing the Ukrainian tugboat and ramming the vessel.

In a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin expressed "serious concern" about martial law, the Kremlin said.

With tensions spilling over, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas suggested on Tuesday that Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine could work together to resolve the tensions between Moscow and Kiev.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that Ukrainian ships in the past had sought and quickly got permissions to pass through the strait. The Russians opened fire on two other boats and seized all three for illegally entering territorial waters.

But after long talks with Lavrov in Paris, Le Drian blamed the ship standoff on the "high level of militarization" in the region and avoided pointing the finger at Russian Federation.

Sunday's incident, Ukrainian officials say, is a direct result of the lack of Western reaction to the unfolding imposition of a de facto sea border, which has been slowly but surely throttling access to the Sea of Azov and the Ukraine's important Mariupol industrial region.

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