Russia closes Kerch Strait to Ukraine

Russia has announced the that it is closing the Kerch Strait for warships of Ukraine and other countries during its military exercises, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

According to Kyiv, the decision comes into force from next week and will be in effect until October. It extends to parts of the Black Sea adjacent to the Kerch Strait.

"Such actions of the Russian Federation are yet another violation of the norms and principles of international law. They are intended to usurp the sovereign rights of Ukraine as a coastal state. It is Ukraine that has the right to regulate navigation in these areas of the Black Sea," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Kyiv believes that in this way Russia provokes not only on land, but also at sea. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called on the international community to increase pressure on the Kremlin.

A day earlier, an incident between Ukrainian and Russian border guards occured near the Kerch Strait.

According to the press center of the Ukrainian Navy, Russian FSB boats tried to block way for several Ukrainian boats on combat duty.

The Ukrainian Navy called Russia's actions to "limit free navigation" a "provocation" and emphasized that Ukrainian Navy intends to continue "ensuring the security of Ukraine in the sea, including in the Sea of Azov."

  Kerch Strait, Russia, Ukraine