Ukraine seizes Russian tanker in Black Sea | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Ukraine seizes Russian tanker in Black Sea

Associated Press
1457818_web1_1457818-15e42fd3d8ed46438409c5f1fb7f7845
AP
A Russian tanker under the Kerch bridge blocks the passage Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 to the Kerch Strait near Kerch, Crimea. The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said in a statement Thursday that it has seized the Russian tanker moored in a Ukrainian Black Sea port.

MOSCOW — The Ukrainian Security Service said Thursday it had seized a Russian tanker in a Black Sea port, a move that could undermine an anticipated prisoner swap between the two countries.

The security service said it detained the Russian tanker in a Ukrainian port on Wednesday. Authorities said the tanker was used in a Russian operation to block Ukrainian vessels from sailing through the Kerch Strait in November.

The 10-member crew was allowed to disembark and leave Ukraine since they were not involved in November’s incident, Russian human rights ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova said.

Russian ships fired on and seized Ukrainian vessels on Nov. 25 in the Kerch Strait, located between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Russia insisted the boats violated its territorial waters and detained the 24 Ukrainians onboard.

Ukraine said the vessels had been in international waters. The aggression sparked a crisis amid already strained relations between the two countries.

Officials both in Russia and Ukraine said earlier this month that they are preparing a major prisoner swap that would include the Ukrainian crew members.

But the move by the SBU, which is still led by an ally of former president Petro Poroshenko, could jeopardize that.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office did not have immediate comment on the incident. Russian officials protested the tanker’s seizure, saying it would dampen the chances of the prisoner swap.

“This is very bad news,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency Thursday. “Someone in Kiev wants a tough throwback to their own provocation on Nov. 25.”

Zelenskiy called Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month for their first conversation since Zelenskiy took office in May. The Ukrainian president, who was a popular comedian before he won an April election, made securing the release of the Ukrainian sailors one of his first priorities.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.