NATO convenes emergency meeting with Ukraine over Russia seizure of vessels

Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula with a cargo ship beneath it after three Ukrainian navy vessels were stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, Crimea November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Pavel Rebrov

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO called an emergency meeting with Ukraine on Monday, the Western military alliance said, after Russia opened fire and seized Ukrainian ships over the weekend near Crimea.

NATO announced the meeting in a statement after the alliance’s head Jens Stoltenberg held a phone call with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on Monday “about developments in the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait … involving Russian and Ukrainian naval vessels.”

“The Secretary General expressed NATO’s full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, including its full navigational rights in its territorial waters under international law,” it said.

“At the request of President Poroshenko, the Secretary General agreed to convene an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at Ambassadorial level in Brussels this afternoon to discuss the current situation.”

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