Amid Escalating Tension, Ukraine Bans Russian Men From Crossing Its Borders

Amid Escalating Tension, Ukraine Bans Russian Men From Crossing Its Borders

Amid Escalating Tension, Ukraine Bans Russian Men From Crossing Its Borders

The restrictions for those aged between 16 and 60 were introduced under the martial law that was imposed after Russian forces fired on and captured three Ukrainian naval ships off Crimea on Sunday.

"Germany is one of our closest allies and we hope that states within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security", Poroshenko said.

Russian coast guard ships on Sunday fired on and seized the Ukrainian vessels as they headed toward a contested strait close to Crimea, taking prisoner 24 Ukrainian sailors and triggering an worldwide crisis.

Ukraine on Friday announced it was barring entry to Russian men between 16-60 years and a senior state security official said Kiev was considering whether to respond in kind with "mirror actions" to the Black Sea incident. There are a lot of families on both sides of the border.

"Those who have such opportunities could help by exerting influence on the Ukrainian authorities", Peskov said.

"We can only resolve this in talks with one another because there is no military solution to all of these conflicts", she said.

Poroshenko said the Russian army tried similar tactics in 2014, when pro-Russian militants declared revolutions in two eastern provinces and Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

Poroshenko addressed the issue at the security meeting on Friday, saying: "During each of my telephone conversations [with worldwide partners], we raised the issue of consolidating the common position of the world regarding the demand for Russian Federation to immediately release the military".

While NATO condemned the Russian action, the alliance is not expected to send ships into the Sea of Azov, a deployment that could trigger a confrontation with Russia.

But were Russian Federation, at a moment of heightened tensions, to cut off all shipping to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov that would turn an embargo into a blockade, and a blockade is an act of war.

Russian TV station Dozhd on Friday quoted Kogershyn Sagiyeva, a member of the Moscow oversight council that is allowed to inspect prisons, as saying that 21 seamen have been transferred to the Moscow Lefortovo jail while three other seamen are in a hospital in another jail.

'Putin wants the old Russian empire back, ' he said.

Clearing leaves up from green areas near Mariupol's under-used railway tracks is a group of Ukrainian women, in orange overalls, who will probably add the ban on Russians to the list of things they blame their president for.

Ukraine has accused the Kremlin, after its annexation of Crimea in 2014, of continuing to support separatists in Ukraine's east.

The development came two days after martial law came into force in 10 out of 27 Ukrainian regions for a period of 30 days. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued maneuvering dangerously. Watching a Russian boat ram a Ukrainian boat is no substitute for economic opportunities.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that Russia's seizure of the Ukrainian ships violated a treaty between the two countries and showed that Moscow can not be trusted.

With 24 sailors still in Russian prisons and a vital sea route now seized, it seems, Kiev has found itself much more isolated than in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.

"Moscow will certainly do everything to abide by conventions on diplomatic relations and protect Ukraine's diplomatic facilities in our country", she said.

Citing sources in Ukraine's ruling circles, Russia's Izvestia newspaper reported that Kiev had been trying to persuade Washington - so far unsuccessfully - to open a military base in Ukraine.

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