The situation came to a head late last month when Russian Federation fired at, damaged and subsequently seized three Ukrainian navy vessels, along with 24 crew members who now face charges of illegal border crossing.
Military analysts say new Ivan Gren class warships are a keystone of the Russian navy's long-term overhaul, which will expand the Kremlin's ability to invade by sea landing.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Sunday that Orthodox Christians would be free to remain part of the Russian branch of the church following the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
These numbers, which have not been verified, would account for the vast majority of men and hardware assigned to Russia's Western Military District.
He touched on the recent escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine after Russian forces seized three Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait and detained sailors.
"Russian Federation must release the Ukrainian sailors and ships". Russia's brinkmanship in the Sea of Azov could also presage a more aggressive pursuit by Moscow of its strategic interests across the entire Black Sea region, and has profound implications for both regional and global security.More news: Mail service suspended for President Bush's state funeral
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The Russian president said bilateral talks with Ukraine are not now held but that contacts between the two countries had not been cut off completely, according to Russia's state news agency Tass. "Vessels make their way to the entrance and exit through the Kerch strait towards Ukrainian ports. the movement is partially restored", Reuters news agency quoted the minister.
There has been growing hostility between Ukraine and Russian Federation since Moscow's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
There are no signs that heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russian Federation pose an increased threat to Poland, the defence minister in Warsaw said last week. "Trump has his own position on the incident, which is different from that of Russian Federation; in any case, I informed him", Putin said.
"We had a brief talk with Trump; I answered his questions about the Black Sea incident".
In response to the seizure of the ships, Poroshenko convinced the Ukrainian parliament to implement martial law in ten border regions. Additionally, he enforced restrictions on Russians living in Ukraine in a myriad of aspects, including bank withdrawals and worldwide travel, as well as requesting that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation send ships to the area of conflict. But Poroshenko has pledged that martial law wouldn't interfere with the vote.
Tensions in the area had been building since Russian Federation completed construction of a bridge connecting its mainland to the peninsula of Crimea, which President Vladimir Putin annexed from Ukraine in 2014.