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"Putin wants the old Russian Empire back", he said. The upper chamber also reaffirmed support for Ukraine's people and territorial integrity.

Nicu Popescu, director of the Wider Europe Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told Euronews that the security incident this weekend was more of an accident, not a deliberate step. They may face up to six years in prison.

In Russia, officials and lawmakers reacted with dismay but said that they wouldn't retaliate to avoid hurting ordinary Ukrainians.

The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, tweeted that the latest measure was created to prevent Russia from forming units of "private" armies, "which in reality are representatives of the armed forces of the Russian Federation", on Ukrainian soil.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that Russia's seizure of the Ukrainian ships violated a treaty between the two countries and showed that Moscow can not be trusted.

She mentioned Russia-occupied Crimea as an example.

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Millions of Russians have family members in Ukraine and vice versa as both countries were formerly part of the Soviet Union. The rogue vessels were blocked by Russian border guard ships, rammed, shot at and eventually seized.

It also "urges members of the global community to unite in opposition to the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation in the Kerch Strait, as they infringe upon fundamental principles of worldwide law affecting all nations".

The scale of the ban might be even larger, as some media outlets reported that the Ukrainian border guards are denying entry to Russian women as well.

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President Petro Poroshenko made the call in an interview with the German daily Bild published Thursday, hoping that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries "are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security".

Germany says a blockade of access to the Sea of Azov is "unacceptable".

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Poroshenko warned on national television on Tuesday of a full-scale war with Russian Federation.

Petro Poroshenko appealed for help from the west and this morning banned Russian men aged between 16 and 60 from travelling into the Ukraine. On Thursday Kiev barred all foreigners from entering Russia's region of Crimea through the land border with Ukraine.

Ukraine's president says the government will impose unspecified restrictions on Russian citizens in response to the seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and their crews.

Ukraine imposed martial law earlier this week following an escalation in the long-simmering conflict between the two nations over Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014.

Trump abruptly canceled the meeting on Thursday, saying in a tweet that it is not appropriate for him to meet Putin as Russian Federation still has not returned three Ukrainian vessels it seized on Sunday.

Andrew Wilson, professor of Ukrainian Studies at University College London in the United Kingdom, told Newsweek that Ukraine's official explanation for the new rules "is sound", saying the move was intended "to stop "little green men" appearing, or 'polite people, '" using some of the nicknames given to the advance Russian troops in Crimea. But were Russian Federation, at a moment of heightened tensions, to cut off all shipping to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov that would turn an embargo into a blockade, and a blockade is an act of war.

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For Russia will not, whether out of security concerns or ambition, stop tightening the noose the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait represent for Ukraine.


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