Erdogan expresses concern for Russia-Ukraine tension

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will both be in France for the centenary of World War I but Trump says he has no plans to meet separately

A Reuters correspondent in Crimea on Wednesday also observed a Russian navy minesweeper ship, the Vice-Admiral Zakharin, heading for the Sea of Azov, which is used by both Ukraine and Russia and is an area of growing tensions, from the Black Sea.

Russia and Ukraine have had a tense relationship ever since a pro-Western social movement ousted a pro-Russian president in 2014. Commenting on the actions of the Russian border guards in the Strait, he stressed that they were doing their job of protecting the border.

The European Union was "dismayed" by Russia's use of force against Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait, calling the incident "unacceptable".

"The United States condemns this aggressive Russian action". That fighting has killed at least 10,000 people since 2014 but eased somewhat with a 2015 truce.

During the conference Wednesday, Putin also claimed that Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko is trying to provoke Russian Federation in order to gin up support for his candidacy in upcoming elections scheduled for March 2019.

Mr Poroshenko has declared martial law for 30 days in response to the crisis.

Among other things, martial law gives Ukrainian authorities the power to order a partial mobilization, strengthen air defenses, and take steps "to strengthen the counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and counter-sabotage regime and information security". They were fulfilling their lawful functions in protecting Russia's borders.

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Ukraine, which claims its vessels were operating in global waters when they were fired upon, boarded and seized, released data on the exact location of the ships to back that claim.

Kurt Volker, the USA special envoy to Ukraine, told reporters in Berlin that Washington sees no reason to doubt the information from Kiev that its vessels were operating in line with global maritime rules.

On Sunday, Russian forces seized three Ukrainian vessels and their crews in the Black Sea.

Russian state television late on Monday aired footage of some of the captured sailors being questioned by Moscow's security services. "If they had done something differently, they should have been put on trial for that".

"It's a legal instrument that has consequences for those who are affected by the sanctions so that means you need to consider and discuss it carefully", said the spokesman.

The Russian military on Wednesday announced plans to deploy advanced antiaircraft missiles to the Crimean Peninsula amid rising tensions between Moscow and Kiev.

President Trump says his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit may not happen after Russia seized Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews; reaction from Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Speaking to reporters as smoke billowed from a nearby shooting range, the camouflage-clad Poroshenko pledged "not to allow the enemy to attack Ukraine" and announced a hike in salaries for military members. The rest of the group was due in court on Wednesday. All could be sentenced to six years in prison if convicted on border-violation charges.

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