Russian coast guard rams Ukranian navy tugboat in Black Sea standoff

Russia has stopped Ukrainian vessels entering the Sea of Asov by placing a huge cargo ship beneath a Crimean bridge

Later, press center of the Ukrainian Navy has confirmed that after leaving the 12-mile zone, Russia's coast guard ships opened fire at Ukraine's navy group.

The Ukrainian side said notification about the transfer plans had been done in advance in accordance with global rules to ensure safe navigation.

The strait is an important trade route for Ukraine as it gives ships access to the city of Mariupol, a key port located in the Sea of Azov.

Noteworthy, the Russians enforced the blockade dispatching also Su-25 Frogfoot attack planes, which were spotted overflying the bridge area several times.

Earlier on Sunday, Russia and Ukraine accused each other of breaking worldwide law after Russian border guards tried and failed to stop Ukrainian ships circumnavigating Crimea en route to a Ukrainian port.

The incident took place Sunday as two Ukrainian navy artillery boats and a tugboat were transiting from Odesa on the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov, via the Kerch Strait, a narrow passage between Crimea and the Russian mainland.

On the other side, Russia's Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, said that the Ukrainian ships violated Russian territorial waters, which were temporarily closed.

The Ukrainian navy said in a statement posted on Facebook on Sunday evening that one of its small artillery boats, the Berdyansk, was damaged and one crew member was injured.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry in a statement said Russia's actions were a violation of the UN Charter.

"Three vessels of the Ukrainian Navy, which have earlier left Berdyans'k for the Kerch Strait, have retraced their course and are moving back to Berdyansk", the FSB said in a statement. Transit under the bridge has been blocked by a tanker ship, and dozens of cargo ships awaiting passage are stuck.

A 2003 treaty between Russian Federation and Ukraine designates the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters.

A spokesman for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Kyiv was convening an emergency meeting of the military's top brass on Sunday night after the second incident in a tense standoff between the two foes. It said the collision caused damage to the tugboat's engine, outer hull, and guardrail.

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