The US requested Russia to release Ukrainian sailors – if they don’t, Russia will face growing “consequences and pain”. In fact, the American threats are directed at the EU and not at Russia. They especially concern Germany and aim to stop the Nord Stream 2 project.
There is no connection between the Kerch strait clash and Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.
The US Department of State expressed its opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project, but it did not threaten the EU.
On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.
However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.