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Iran Press TV

Russia impounds transgressing Ukraine ships

Iran Press TV

Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:31PM

Russia says it has been forced to open fire at and impound three Ukrainian naval vessels after they illegally crossed its sea border, entering the Russian waters in the Black Sea off the Crimean Peninsula.

The Russian Security Service (FSB) confirmed on Sunday that the ships had been seized, saying weapons had been used to stop them after the transgression took place, Russia Today reported.

Ukraine said the incident took place as three of its ships, including two small warships, were heading for the port of Mariupol in the Sea of Azov.

They were ignoring "legal demands to stop" and "performing dangerous maneuvers," the FSB said in a statement. The Russian warships had to open fire to force them to stop, it added.

"Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded and have been given medical assistance," RT added, saying, "Their lives are out of danger."

A criminal investigation is looking into the incident.

PressTV correspondent, Lena Savchuk said from Ukraine's capital earlier that Moscow had rejected a claim by Kiev that it had informed Russia of the passage of its ships through the Kerch Strait.

Moscow has clarified that Russia reserves the right to defend the waters east of Crimea as an integral part of its territory. The peninsula in southern Europe rejoined the Russian Federation in 2014.

The reunion has been a sticking point in the relations between the countries.

Moscow and Kiev exchange accusations of troubling each other's shipping in the littoral area.

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