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Ukraine's president is begging North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to dispatch ships to the area after a confrontation in which the Russian coast guard fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels and their crews that sought to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov.

Ukraine said Russian Federation had partially restored access to its ports on the Azov Sea following months of disruption and a week after its navy was sacked on by its neighbor.

Russian Federation and Ukraine have been at loggerheads since 2014, when Russian Federation annexed the Crimean Peninsula following a controversial referendum.

"Ukraine is constantly considering the Budapest Memorandum as an important worldwide instrument for ensuring Ukraine's security", the ministry said in a statement on its website. Russian Federation has approximately 2,800 vessels and 25,000 personnel in the area.

Russian Federation ultimately seized three ships, and 24 Ukrainian sailors, and has put them on trial on charges of illegal border crossing and other charges.

Some critics at home, including Poroshenko's main political rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, accused him of using the naval incident for political purposes before March's election.

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The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also professed that the Ukrainian government had accepted active preparations for a military hostility in Eastern Ukraine utilizing a contemporary announcement of martial law in specific area as a cover.

The Kremlin has called the naval incident a provocation meant to shore up Poroshenko's sagging popularity.

The seamen have joined a long list of Ukrainians held in Russian Federation, including filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who refused food for 145 days in his Arctic penal colony earlier this year.

The Ukrainians, charged with illegally crossing Russia's borders, face up to six years in prison, defense lawyer Nikolai Polozov said on Tuesday.

Poroshenko, who has made an independent church one of the main slogans of his not-yet-announced re-election bid, said that Orthodox communities would gather on December 15 to adopt the charter of the new Ukrainian church and choose its leader.

Poroshenko insisted that the seamen's detention was illegal.


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