Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Ukraine calls up reservists over Russian invasion fear

Ukraine calls up reservists over Russian invasion fear

Russian Federation and Ukraine blamed each other for the clash in the Kerch Strait, which links the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov.

Asked if he might consider exchanging the captive sailors for Russians in Ukrainian detention, Putin said: "We are not considering a swap and Ukraine did not raise this issue, and it's too early to talk about that", Putin said when asked if he would considering exchanging the sailors for Russians detained by Ukraine. However, Russia claimed it had been forced to act as Ukrainian ships illegally entered its waters to "intentionally" provoke a conflict.

Russia is resisting global calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships that its border patrols fired upon and seized in the strait near Russian-annexed Crimea last weekend.

European leaders used weekend G20 meetings in Buenos Aires to press Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine spat, but Western powers are wary of taking steps that might inflame the situation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed last weekend's Black Sea clash as a minor border incident and accused Poroshenko of engineering what he called a "provocation" to boost his flagging popularity before an election next year.

Putin also said that he spoke about the matter with several foreign leaders at the G-20 summit.

A 2003 Russia-Ukraine agreement designates the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait as shared internal waters. Russian Federation had annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Moscow had also built up a powerful naval force in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, which Russian Federation and Ukraine share, he said.

Though the substance of Trump's conversation with Putin on Friday was not detailed by the White House, Putin said that it had to do with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Poroshenko said Russian Federation is also increasing its presence at sea.

"Free shipping into the Sea of Azov to the Ukrainian coast and harbors must be ensured", Merkel said to reporters after the meeting. Many in Ukraine and overseas have criticized the martial law order, noting that playing up the Russian threat is politically beneficial to Poroshenko, who faces re-election in March.

Poroshenko said on Monday that some reservists will be summoned for training as part of martial law.

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, and military analysts say that Russia is providing support for pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian military in the eastern part of the country known as the Donbas. An unsteady cease-fire has been in place there since 2015.

Ukrainian TV channel "112 Ukraine" on Saturday showed Poroshenko presenting new and overhauled military aircraft, helicopters and drones to the Ukrainian army.

"The vast majority of (them) could not confirm they goal of their trip to Ukraine", Ukrainian border guard spokesman Andrei Demchenko told Ukrainian television on Saturday.

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