Ukraine urges NATO to deploy ships amid standoff with Russia

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The Ukrainian president is urging NATO to deploy naval ships to the Sea of Azov amid a standoff with Russia.

President Petro Poroshenko made the call in an interview with the German daily Bild published Thursday, saying that “we hope that states within NATO are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security.”

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In Sunday’s confrontation, the Russian coast guard fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels that sought to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait, between Russia’s mainland and the Crimean Peninsula it annexed from Ukraine.

Ukraine insisted that its vessels were operating in line with international maritime rules, while Russia said they had failed to get permission to pass.