Putin defends 'lawful' seizure of Ukrainian ships

Ukrainian naval vessels seized by Russia in international waters on November 25

The episode has raised fears in the West of a wider conflict between the two countries and Kiev has since introduced martial law in parts of the country, saying it fears a possible Russian invasion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday it is impossible to seal the S-400 air defense system deal with Turkey in US dollars.

Russia's military already has three of the S-400 "Triumf" missile divisions on the Black Sea peninsula; it will have another in place and operational by the year's end, said Col. Vadim Astafyev of Russia's Southern Military District, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Over the last year, the two countries have levied a series of tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of imports from one another, with the latest round of United States duties set to go into force in the new year.

Putin on Wednesday broke his silence on the maritime clash, blaming it on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's desire to get re-elected.

All of the sailors face jail terms of up to six years if found guilty of what Moscow says was a plot to illegally cross the Russian border by trying to pass through the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait on Sunday without notice and ignoring calls to stop.

In Ukraine, Poroshenko warned that the clash at sea could herald more drastic developments in the simmering Ukraine-Russia military standoff.

Ukraine says its ships did nothing wrong and have every right to use the strait, the only gateway to the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea, without Russian permission.

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Kremlin also announced the phone call between Erdoğan and Putin in an online statement. "That will be very determinative", he said today. "Maybe I won't even have the meeting.I don't like that aggression".

Lavrov said Ukrainian warships had ignored maritime law when they tried to enter the Kerch Strait, aiming to create a scandal for domestic political purposes and USA encouragement for such acts "saddens me greatly".

On a recent trip to Ukrainian towns and villages by the Sea of Azov earlier this month, we saw how the situation on land has settled into a relative calm; both sides have dug in and fortified the front line.

"We don't have any other information from [U.S. officials]", he said when asked about Trump's comments.

Euronews talked to Andriy Parubiy, the Chairman of Ukrainian parliament and Konstantin Kosachev Chair of Russia's the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council.

A court in Crimea on Tuesday ordered 12 of the 24 Ukrainian seamen held in custody.

The other nine faced hearings on November 28. He said the Ukrainian vessels had clearly been in the wrong.

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