Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, put his nation on a war footing with Russia on Monday, as tensions over a shared waterway escalated into a crisis that dragged in NATO and the United Nations. The tensions escalated between the two countries over the detention of Ukrainian navy vessels in the Kerch Strait.
The president told national television on Tuesday: “I don’t want anyone to think this is fun and games. Ukraine is under threat of full-scale war with Russia.” Citing intelligence reports but giving no precise timescale for the buildup, said Poroshenko that the number of Russian units deployed along the Ukraine-Russian border had “grown dramatically” and the number of Russian tanks had tripled.
The diplomatic fallout continued when the US President Donald Trump warned that he might cancel a long-awaited meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this week.
— Press TV (@PressTV) November 28, 2018
Twelve of the 24 Ukrainian sailors, being held by Moscow, were ordered to be held in pre-trial detention for two months by a court in the city of Simferopol in Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. More are to appear before the court on Wednesday. The sailors face a charge of illegally crossing Russian borders, which carries a sentence of up to six years in prison.
Ukraine says they were travelling in shared waters on a routine passage to the Sea of Azov, which they have a right to patrol under a bilateral treaty. The crisis between the two countries has provoked international condemnation and talk of fresh western sanctions against Moscow.