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Russia blocks Ukrainian Azov ports: Minister

Ukrainian naval vessels, recently seized by Russia's security forces, are seen as anchored in a harbor in Kerch, Crimea on…

Ukrainian naval vessels, recently seized by Russia’s security forces, are seen as anchored in a harbor in Kerch, Crimea on November 28, 2018. REUTERS / All Dmitrieva

KIEV (Reuters) – Two Ukrainian Azores, Berdyansk and Mariupol, are efficient blocked by Russia, as ships are prevented from leaving and coming in, said Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure, Volodymyr Omelyan, on Thursday.

In total, 35 vessels have been prevented from performing normal operations, and only vessels moving to Russian ports on the Azores are allowed, he said on Facebook.

“The goal is simple &#821

1; by placing a blockade on Ukrainian ports on the Azores, Russia hopes to drive Ukraine out of our own territory – territory that is ours in accordance with all relevant international laws,” he said.

Omelyan said 18 vessels awaited access to the Azores, including four to Berdyansk and 14 to Mariupol. There are also a row of nine ships leaving the Azores and eight other ships standing near the port.

Cereals and steel dominate Azov ports transport.

Russia seized three Ukrainian navy vessels and their crews on Sunday near the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow attached in 2014, about what is said to be their illegal entry into Russian waters – a fee Ukraine is opposed strongly.

The navy of the navy vessels ran tensions to its highest since 2015, when the Russian rebels pushed the Kiev government in the eastern Donbass region and kicked a war that killed tens of thousands.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing Robert Birsel

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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