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Lithuania imposes sanctions on Russian citizens involved in Kerch Strait incident

President Dalia Grybauskaite stressed that "Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine"
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite
© AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson

VILNIUS, December 7. /TASS/. Lithuania has imposed individual sanctions on Russian citizens, involved in the detention of three Ukrainian warships that had violated the rules established in the Kerch Strait, prohibiting them from entering the country, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Friday.

"Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine and has introduced sanctions on those responsible for aggression in the Kerch Strait and the Black Sea," the press center quoted her as saying.

Grybauskaite also told Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko that Vilnius would increase military assistance to Kiev. "We will additionally supply more ammunition, send more military instructors and cyber security experts to help repel hybrid attacks, especially during the elections," the Lithuanian leader stated.

Kerch Strait standoff

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on November 25 that the Ukrainian warships, the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yany Kapu had breached the Russian state border on Sunday morning and attempted to carry out illegal maneuvers in Russia’s territorial waters later. The Ukrainian vessels ignored the legitimate demands of the Coast Guard of the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet to stop immediately and end their dangerous action. The Ukrainian warships carried on, blatantly disregarding these orders, which triggered a chase involving some gunfire to stop them. Consequently, the ships were detained in Russian territorial waters.

Moscow branded Kiev’s stunt in the Kerch Strait a dangerous provocation, while the European Union and NATO called for a de-escalation of tensions.

Ukraine in turn imposed martial law across the Vinnytsia, Lugansk, Nikolayev, Odessa, Sumy, Kharkov, Chernigov, Donetsk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson Regions along with the country’s territorial waters in the Azov-Kerch water zone.