MOSCOW – The latest on tensions between Russia and Ukraine (all times local):
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the president of Ukraine assured him that if martial law were introduced in the country, it would not have a negative impact on next year's presidential elections.
Stoltenberg said on Monday that President Petro Poroshenko told him by phone that "the introduction of martial law will not hinder the functioning of democratic institutions" in Ukraine.
The imposition of martial law could curb certain freedoms and rights and lead to the demolition of presidential elections.
Poroshenko proposed Monday to impose a martial law for 30 days in the wake of Russia's seizure of Ukrainian navy ships and their crews near the Crimea occupied by Russia.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia of the consequences after the Russian coast guard fired and seized Ukrainian ships in the Crimea region, injuring the sailors and increasing tensions.
Speaking Monday after presiding over an emergency meeting of NATO and Ukraine ambassadors, Stoltenberg said that "Russia must understand that its actions have consequences".
He did not say what such consequences could be, but he recalled that NATO launched its largest military accumulation in Eastern Europe since the Cold War in recent years in response to the annexation of Russia's Crimea in 2014.
Stoltenberg says that Russia's action is "intensifying the situation in the region".
While observing that the Sunday incident "is serious", Stoltenberg also stressed that it is important "to work for the reduction of tension, for calm and control".
US Ambassador Nikki Haley calls on Russia to "immediately stop its illegal behavior" in the Black Sea near Crimea during a UN Security Council meeting on Monday.
The Ukrainian navy says that Russian ships have fired and seized three of its artillery ships on Sunday. The incident sharply sharpened the tensions that have grown between the two countries since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Anne Gueguen, French Permanent Representative to the United States, urged the release of seamen and ships. He said Sunday incidents show the need for a long-term relaxation and resolution of the Crimean dispute.
Russia, meanwhile, described the actions of Ukraine as "dangerous" and claimed that the three Ukrainian ships have illegally crossed Russian waters.
Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia's first permanent deputy representative at the UN, told the Security Council that the weekend incident was another example of Ukrainian leaders seeking to provoke Russia for political ends. He claimed that Porschenko needed a war before the March elections to get support from the public.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to express his concerns about the stalemate with Russia in Crimea.
On Monday, Merkel's office said the chancellor stressed the need to ease tension and dialogue and said he would work to help bring both. The two leaders agreed to stay in close contact.
The Ukrainian navy claims that six sailors were injured when the Russian coast guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait Sunday.
The largest Ukrainian state bank claims that an arbitration court in Paris has ruled that Russia has to pay $ 1.3 billion in damages for assets seized in the annexation of Crimea.
The press service of Oshchadbank said that the court ruled in favor of the bank, and now the bank will take "all possible measures" to recover money from Russia.
This could include the seizure of Russian assets all over the world, the bank said.
The announcement came between new tensions between neighbors on Ukrainian military ships seized from Russia near Crimea.
Banking officer Andriy Pyshnoho encouraged other Ukrainian companies to seek international arbitration "to restore justice" on the properties seized in the Crimea.
Russia did not respond immediately to the sentence.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has halved his proposed martial law in the country at 30 days, an apparent concession to the opponents.
The reduction means that the Ukrainian authorities can call the presidential elections at the end of December, giving sufficient time to do so at the end of March as planned.
Poroshenko said in a televised speech that he decided to cut the 60-day suggested times.
His original proposal was criticized by opponents as an attempt by Poroshenko to cancel the election at a time when his approval votes were low.
The proposal comes on the heels of Russia's seizure of ships of the Ukrainian navy and their crews near the Crimea occupied by Russia.
It is expected that the Ukrainian parliament will vote following the Poroshenko motion.
Three former Ukrainian presidents joined forces to oppose the motion to impose martial law in the country following the seizure by Russia of three Ukrainian ships and their crews.
The first president of Ukraine from 1991 to 1994, Leonid Kravchuk, read a letter signed by him and two other former leaders, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko, who oppose the imposition of martial law.
Previously, the current president Petro Poroshenko signed a bill to impose martial law. The Ukrainian parliament should vote on the question later in the day. The debate has yet to start because some opposition lawmakers are looking for amendments.
In their letter, the former presidents said that martial law would be a "threat to democracy" because it would cancel the presidential vote scheduled for next year.
Britain is accusing Russia of an "act of aggression" in the seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors near the Crimea occupied by Russia.
Prime Minister Theresa May spokesman James Slack says the incident is "a further proof of Russia's destabilizing behavior in the region and its continued violation of Ukrainian territorial integrity".
He says "Russia must not be able to use force to exert more pressure on Ukraine". Britain is urging all parties to show moderation.
The Ukrainian navy claims that six sailors were injured when the Russian coast guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait – the only outlet for Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea – and then seized them. Ukraine is demanding the release of ships and crew.
Russia and Ukraine were stranded in a tense tug of war from the annexation of the Crimea of Russia in 2014.
Spain and Germany are joining the European Union to ask Russia to free Ukrainian sailors and ships seized in a Sunday stalemate in the Crimea, which has sharpened tensions between the two countries.
Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell says that his country supports the official position of the EU and that both parties should reduce tension.
"We have to stop the escalation and the extension of the conflict at intensity levels that would be dangerous," Borrell said last Monday in Madrid, where he welcomed his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, for bilateral talks. .
Maas welcomed Russia's decision to dissolve the blockade in the Kerch Strait, but called the developments in the Azov Sea "troubling".
"We must end this war that is happening in our neighborhood," Maas told reporters.
The French government has said that Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships and their crew is not justified and has urged their immediate release.
In a statement, the French Foreign Ministry urged moderation on both sides and expressed "extreme concern" over the stalemate in relation to Crimea.
In the statement, France seems to give little credit to Russia's claims that Ukrainian ships have violated maritime rules.
Russia and Ukraine exchanged blame for the accident, in which Russian coast guards fired on ships of the Ukrainian navy near the Kerch Strait and injured Ukrainian sailors.
The French government claimed that the stalemate derived directly from Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, which France does not recognize and considers a violation of international law.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a bill to impose martial law in the country following the seizure by Russia of three ships and their crews.
The bill must be approved by the parliament for it to come into force. The Supreme Rada should vote on the matter later on Monday.
Poroshenko proposed to impose a martial law in the country after the Russian border guards opened fire on three Ukrainian military ships in the Azov Sea.
The bill that was published by Poroshenko's office on Monday afternoon requires the imposition of martial law for two months.
Emergency measures, if adopted by the legislators, will include partial mobilization, a strengthening of the country's air defense and a plethora of vaguely worded steps such as the "strengthening" of counter-terrorism measures and "information security".
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says that the Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia in the Sunday incident off the Crimean peninsula, annexed to Russia, should be treated as prisoners of war.
Klimkin told reporters in Kiev that the government is negotiating with the Red Cross to make sure that the sailors are treated as prisoners of war.
Six Ukrainians were wounded after Russian border guards opened fire on three Ukrainian military ships in the Kerch Strait on Sunday. The ships and crews were captured by the Russians.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has not said whether the Kremlin sees them as prisoners of war.
Aid to Polish President Andrzej Duda says that sanctions on Russia should be increased after the seizure of Ukrainian navy ships.
Krzysztof Szczerski said that Russia's recent actions against Ukrainian ships were an "open violation" of international law and was "another attempt to destabilize the region".
Szczerski said that Poland sees the need to "consider and strengthen among the allies the strengthening of sanctions against Russia".
He said that Duda spoke on the phone with the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko about the naval blockade in the Black Sea.
The Russian coastguard fired on three Ukrainian ships on Sunday near the Kerch Strait and then kidnapped them along with the crews.
International sanctions were imposed in Moscow after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
The neighbor and ally of Ukraine also Poland borders Russia.
Ukrainian protesters burned a Russian flag and fired rockets at the Russian consulate in the eastern city of Kharkiv for the seizure of Ukrainian navy ships.
The UNIAN news agency reported that the protesters demanded that Ukraine break off diplomatic relations with Russia and nationalize Russian affairs on Ukrainian soil. They also said that Ukraine should stop respecting a 2003 agreement with Russia on sharing the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea which is at the center of the stall.
In the capital of Kiev, protesters from the far-right national party fired rockets outside the Ukrainian parliament. They waved yellow and blue flags with the Ukrainian national symbol, the trident and a huge white banner with the words "Do not Back Down!"
While Ukraine rebukes the imposition of martial law, the National Corps demonstrator Rodion Kudryashov said that the measure should not last longer than 30 days because it should not interrupt the elections scheduled for March. He also said that it should be accompanied by an "end of relations" with Russia.
The Foreign Ministry of Moldova affirms that regional security is threatened by "acts of aggression and provocation" in the Crimean arm wrestling between Ukraine and Russia.
A statement said that Moldova reiterated its support "for the sovereignty of Ukraine and territorial integrity and its right to use international waters", adding that it was "deeply concerned" about the tensions surrounding the Strait of Kerch and the Sea of Azov. Former Soviet Republic Moldova shares a 1222 km (764 mile) border with Ukraine.
The Ukrainian navy said that six of its sailors were injured when the Russian coast guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait on Sunday and then seized them. Russia said three Ukrainian sailors reported light injuries and received medical assistance.
The head of the European Union, Donald Tusk, calls on Russia to stop provoking Ukraine and is urging the authorities to return any Ukrainian ship or sailor who is in the midst of a naval stall situation in the Crimea.
The president of the European Council said in a tweet on Monday: "I condemn the use of force on the Russian side in the Sea of Azov". He added that "the Russian authorities must return Ukrainian sailors, ships and refrain from further provocation".
He said that he discussed developments with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and will meet representatives of the Ukrainian leader later on Monday.
Tusk added: "Europe will remain united in support of Ukraine".
On Sunday, the Russian coastguard fired on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait, then seized them with the crews.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman calls on Russia to free the sailors and Ukrainian ships seized in a navy stall near the Crimea.
Steffen Seibert urged Monday both sides to quickly open a dialogue to clarify the case and calm the tensions. He said that the incident on Sunday raises "serious questions, especially with regard to the use of military force by the Russian forces for which, based on the facts known to us so far, there is no obvious justification ".
On Sunday, the Russian coastguard fired on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait and then kidnapped them along with the crews, increasing tensions and causing international concern.
Seibert said that Germany is "in touch with both sides". Foreign Minister spokesman Rainer Breul said that a meeting scheduled in Berlin on Monday by political directors of foreign ministries from Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine will now serve to discuss the deadlock.
NATO states that its ambassadors and the Ukrainian envoy will hold emergency talks in Brussels last Monday on the naval blockade between Ukraine and Russia near Crimea.
The military alliance declared that the meeting was convened at the request of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko after having held talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
NATO states that Stoltenberg expressed the US-led military alliance "full support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, including its full navigation rights in its territorial waters under the law international".
The Russian coastguard fired on three Ukrainian ships on Sunday near the Kerch Strait and then kidnapped them along with the crews.
The Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas has convened an extraordinary meeting of the Government Security Committee to discuss Russian action against Ukraine in the Black Sea and in neighboring areas.
Ratas states that "what took place in the Kerch Strait is a serious violation of international law", adding that the meeting would be held later on Monday.
After the annexation of Moscow from Ukraine to the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, Estonia – like its Baltic neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania – fears that they and other former Soviet republics could to be next.
On Monday, Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser called the events off the Crimea "a conscious act to intensify the tension", while Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite tweeted that "another obvious violation of international law and the same commitments of Russia ".
The Russian Foreign Minister said that Ukraine violated international law and caused Russia to send its navy ships through the Kerch Strait without permission.
The Russian coast guard fired three Ukrainian ships on Sunday and seized them together with the crews. The Ukrainian navy declared that six of its sailors were injured, while Russia declared that three Ukrainian sailors reported light injuries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Monday that Ukraine violated international legal regulations by not obtaining authorization for its ships. Ukraine accused Russia of aggression, claiming to have ignored a notification sent by the ships.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Russian news agencies on Monday that the incident was a "dangerous provocation" of Ukraine "that deserves special attention and a & # 39; accurate investigation ".
A 2003 treaty defines the Strait of Kerch and the Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters, but Russia has sought to exercise greater control over the transition from the annexation of the Crimea in 2014.
Dozens of extreme right-wing demonstrators are burning tires outside the Russian consulate in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv to protest against the seizure of Ukrainian ships off the Crimea.
The protest Monday was organized by the National Body party, which also called for a demonstration in front of the office of President Petro Poroshenko in the capital, Kiev. The group claims that Poroshenko is not aggressive enough against Russia. The group is small but can put pressure on the president.
In addition to the Lviv protests, the far-right group C14 has posted photos on Facebook of a car with Russian diplomatic plates set on fire in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev.
The European Union and NATO have called for moderation on both sides after the Russian coast guard fired on ships of the Ukrainian navy near the Kerch Strait and then seized them. The Ukrainian navy declared that six of its sailors were injured.
Russia and Ukraine have exchanged blame for the accident.
The president of Ukraine demands that Russia immediately release sailors and Ukrainian ships seized in a stalemate in the Black Sea.
Petro Poroshenko said at a meeting of the national security council of Ukraine on Monday "we demand urgent delivery to the Ukrainian side" and called for a "degrowth" of the crisis in the Crimea.
Later on Monday, the Ukrainian parliament will consider a presidential request for the introduction of martial law.
The Ukrainian navy said six Ukrainian sailors were wounded when the Russian coast guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait and seized them on Sunday. The two nations have mistaken blame for the accident. It has exacerbated tensions that have soared since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine in 2014 and supported a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
NATO calls on Russia and Ukraine to show restraint after the Russian coastguard fired on Ukrainian navy ships, wounding six sailors.
Ukraine claims that ships complied with international maritime rules as they headed towards the Azov Sea. Russia says it has not obtained permission to cross the Kerch Strait that separates the Crimea from the Russian mainland. Tensions between NATO and Russia have intensified since 2014 after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said that "we demand moderation and relaxation".
He said that NATO supports the "navigation rights in territorial waters" of Ukraine and calls on Russia "to ensure unimpeded access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, in accordance with international law".
The NATO headquarters refused to say Monday if its ambassadors would meet to discuss the incident, but the alliance is in contact with the Ukrainian authorities.
A senior German official calls on Russia and Ukraine to ease tensions after the Russian coast guards fired on ships of the Ukrainian navy.
Michael Roth, a deputy foreign minister, told Deutschlandfunk's radio that the question is "very dangerous – the last thing we need is a further escalation in relations between Russia and Ukraine".
Roth said he had no personal information about the accident "but it is clear that Russia, in accordance with international law, must ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov." He added that "both sides must now de-escalate" and avoid a spiral of tensions that "could eventually lead to dire consequences".
Moscow and Kiev are blaming responsibility for the incident that further exacerbated the tensions that have risen since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine in 2014.
The Ukrainian parliament should consider a presidential request for the introduction of martial law in Ukraine following an incident in which Russian coast guards fired at Ukrainian navy ships.
The Ukrainian navy said six Ukrainian sailors were wounded when the Russian coast guards opened fire on three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait and seized them on Sunday.
The two nations exchanged blame for the accident that further exacerbated the tensions that have risen since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine in 2014 and supported a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine .
Ukraine has declared that its ships are heading towards the Sea of Azov in line with international maritime standards, while Russia has accused of not having obtained permission to go through the narrow strait of Kerch that separates the Crimea from the Russian mainland.
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