On November 25, three ships of the Ukrainian Navy entered territorial waters of Russia, ignored the requests to stop and, with their reckless manoeuvres, endangered navigation. They were seized by the Russian coast guard near the Kerch Strait.
Ukrainian navy is getting ready to enter the Azov Sea once more, this time with an escort from NATO and OSCE vessels.
Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine violating Russian territorial integrity in the Azov Sea.
The use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov is regulated by a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004. According to the document, the Azov Sea is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.
On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after opening fire at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen.
The Ukrainian government asked for NATO's help in the Azov Sea. NATO asserted that its ships routinely patrol the Black Sea, and that regular air policing and reconnaissance flights are conducted there. Nevertheless, there is no credible evidence for Ukraine preparing for entering the Azov Sea with an escort of the NATO and OSCE vessels.