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Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in the Kerch Strait with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone, the Kremlin press service said in a statement Tuesday, reports Xinhua.
In the conversation initiated by Germany, Putin said the Ukrainian action was a “violation of the norms of international law by its warships,” the statement said.
The Russian president also expressed his concern over Kiev’s decision to bring its military forces into full combat readiness and declare martial law.
“It was emphasized that the Ukrainian leadership bears full responsibility for creating another conflict situation and the associated risks,” the statement said.
Putin also expressed hope that Berlin will “influence the Ukrainian authorities and keep them from making further hasty decisions,” the statement added.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian Navy said that Russian forces opened fire and seized three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait, which separates the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, injuring six Ukrainian military sailors.
Russia’s Federal Security Service said the Ukrainian ships breached the Russian border, and conducted dangerous maneuvers in spite of Russia’s orders.
The Ukrainian Navy said it has informed Russia in advance about the passage of Ukrainian vessels from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait, calling Russia’s actions an “act of aggression.”
The Ukrainian parliament on Monday supported a bill imposing a martial law in certain regions of the country for 30 days starting Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT).