Ukrainian President Seeks NATO Support in Russia Dispute

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Ukraine said on Monday that it will not allow Russian men aged 16-60 into the country under martial law, except under "humanitarian" cases.

Ukraine imposed martial law this week, citing fears that Russia was planning a full scale invasion after Russian vessels fired on and captured Ukrainian ships last weekend.

"Our superiors stopped our moving and patrolling because of the situation", said Nosenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian navy.

In Moscow, a Russian lawmaker was quoted by RIA news agency as saying Russia had no plans for a reciprocal move to bar Ukrainian men.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also condemned what he called the "aggressive Russian action".

Trudeau and Poroshenko spoke following the prime minister's arrival at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Thursday and the leaders discussed Russia's actions that resulted in the seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels near Crimea, according to the Prime Minister's Office. It has said the Ukrainians were violating Russian waters and that Ukraine did not inform Russian officials of its naval movements.

Kiev has demanded the return of its ships and the release of 24 sailors taken prisoner during the confrontation.

The Sea of Azov became a virtual Russian lake, access to which was controlled by Russia, just as access to the Black Sea is controlled by Turkey.

The fact that no North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member is presently planning to send any ships to the Azov Sea-not even a short friendly visit-will hardly calm the Russian nightmare assessment of the West suddenly achieving naval superiority there.

Ukraine now has three Orthodox communities - one that stays under Moscow's control and two schismatic churches.

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Sea of Azov

But was Putin really the provocateur in Sunday's naval clash outside Kerch Strait, the Black Sea gateway to the Sea of Azov?

Overall, 35 vessels have been prevented from carrying out normal operations and only vessels moving towards Russian ports on the Azov Sea are permitted entry, he said on Facebook.

Yet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has made an independent church one of the key slogans of his not-yet-announced campaign to stay in office.

Russian Federation annexed Crimea while pro-Moscow separatists seized parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of eastern Ukraine, declaring unrecognised breakaway statelets in a conflict that remains unresolved.

On Wednesday the European Union strongly condemned Russia's actions but failed to agree on new sanctions against Russian Federation. "The objective of Russia's military aggression is to establish full control over the Black Sea to influence the countries of the region".

On Twitter, Trump said that his decision was "based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russian Federation".

The announcement follows Thursday's decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to scrap the much-anticipated meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The Azov Sea is mostly extremely shallow: Russian submarines and warships of the Black Sea Fleet can not operate there effectively, while the United States and its allies have some modern well-armed warships capable of operating in the coastal littoral.

Whatever Putin's true objective are, the Russians seem increasingly focused on making things as turbulent as possible for Ukraine.

The sailors have been put before a court in Simferopol, the main city in Russian-annexed Crimea, and ordered to be held in pre-trial detention for two months.

He added that there needs to be increased pressure on Moscow, including stopping the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is being built under the Baltic Sea and would bypass Ukraine to deliver gas directly to Germany.

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