NATO, Ukraine envoy hold emergency talks

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The Latest on tensions between Russia and Ukraine (all times local):

2:15 p.m

NATO says its ambassadors and Ukraine‘s envoy will hold emergency talks in Brussels later Monday over the naval standoff between Ukraine and Russia near Crimea.

The military alliance said the meeting was called at the request of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after he held talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

NATO says Stoltenberg expressed the U.S.-led military alliance’s “full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, including its full navigational rights in its territorial waters under international law.”

The Russian coast guard fired on three Ukrainian ships Sunday near the Kerch Strait and then seized them along with the crews.

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1:50 p.m.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas has called on an extraordinary meeting of the government’s security committee to discuss the Russian action against Ukraine in the Black Sea and nearby areas.

Ratas says that “what took place in the Kerch Strait is a serious violation of international law,” adding the meeting would be held later Monday.

After Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, Estonia — like its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania — fear that they and other former Soviet republics could be next.

Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser on Monday called the events off Crimea “a conscious act to escalate tension,” while Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite tweeted it was “another blatant violation of international law and Russia’s own commitments.”

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1:45 p.m.

Russia’s foreign minister says Ukraine has violated international law and provoked Russia by sending its navy vessels through the Kerch Strait without permission.

The Russian coast guard fired on three Ukrainian ships Sunday and then seized them along with the crews. The Ukrainian navy said six of its sailors were wounded, while Russia said that three Ukrainian seamen received light injuries.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov charged Monday that Ukraine violated international legal norms by failing to obtain authorization for its vessels. Ukraine accused Russia of aggression, saying it had ignored a notification sent by the ships.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Russian news agencies on Monday the incident was a “dangerous provocation” by Ukraine “which deserves special attention and careful investigation.”

A 2003 treaty designates the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters, but Russia has sought to assert greater control over the passage since the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

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1:10 p.m.

Dozens of far-right protesters are burning tires outside the Russian consulate in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv to protest the seizure of Ukrainian ships off Crimea.

The protest Monday was organized by the National Corps party, which also called for a demonstration in front of President Petro Poroshenko’s office in the capital, Kiev. The group argues Poroshenko isn’t aggressive enough against Russia. The group is small but can put pressure on the president.

In addition to the Lviv protests, far-right group C14 published photos on Facebook of a car with Russian diplomatic plates on fire in front of the Russian Embassy in Kiev.

The European Union and NATO called for restraint from both sides after the Russian coast guard fired on Ukrainian navy vessels near the Kerch Strait and then seized them. The Ukrainian navy said six of its seamen were wounded.

Russia and Ukraine traded blame over the incident.

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12:50 p.m.

Ukraine’s president is demanding that Russia immediately release Ukrainian sailors and ships seized in a standoff in the Black Sea.

Petro Poroshenko said at a meeting of Ukraine’s national security council Monday that “we demand that they are urgently turned over to the Ukrainian side” and called for a “de-escalation” of the crisis around Crimea.

Later Monday, the Ukrainian parliament is set to consider a presidential request for the introduction of martial law.

Ukraine’s navy said six Ukrainian seamen were wounded when Russian coast guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait and then seized them late Sunday. The two nations traded blame over the incident. It aggravated tensions that have soared since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and backed a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

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11:55 a.m.

NATO is calling on Russia and Ukraine to show restraint after the Russian coastguard fired on Ukrainian navy vessels, wounding six seamen.

Ukraine says the ships were respecting international maritime rules as they headed to the Sea of Azov. Russia says they failed to obtain permission to pass through the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from the Russian mainland. Tensions between NATO and Russia have escalated since 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said “we call for restraint and de-escalation.”

She said NATO supports Ukraine’s “navigational rights in its territorial waters” and calls on Russia “to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea, in accordance with international law.”

NATO headquarters declined to say Monday whether its ambassadors would meet to discuss the incident, but the alliance is in contact with Ukrainian authorities.

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10:50 a.m.

A senior German official is calling on Russia and Ukraine to de-escalate tensions after Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels.

Michael Roth, a deputy foreign minister, told Deutschlandfunk radio Monday that the matter is “very dangerous — the last thing we need is a further escalation in relations between Russia and Ukraine.”

Roth said he didn’t have any information of his own on the incident “but it is clear that Russia, in accordance with international law, must ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian harbors in the Sea of Azov.” He added that “both sides must now de-escalate” and avoid a spiral of tensions that “could ultimately lead to terrible consequences.”

Moscow and Kiev are trading blame over the incident that further escalated tensions that have soared since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

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10:20 a.m.

The Ukrainian parliament is set to consider a presidential request for the introduction of martial law in Ukraine following an incident in which Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels.

Ukraine’s navy said six Ukrainian seamen were wounded when Russian coast guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait and then seized them late Sunday.

The two nations traded blame over the incident that further escalated tensions that have soared since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and backed a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine said its vessels were heading to the Sea of Azov in line with international maritime rules, while Russia charged that they had failed to obtain permission to pass through the narrow Kerch Strait separating Crimea from the Russian mainland.

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