Ukrainian Dias Marine Consulting informed that, after the attack of Ukrainian naval support vessels by Russian warships, traffic through the Kerch Channel was resumed on 26 November at 04.00 a.m.
Cargo vessels are not prohibited to pass the Channel. Foreign vessels calling to Russian ports of Azov Sea pass Channel without problems. Vessels which scheduled for Ukrainian ports are checked by Russian FSB service. These check-ups cause delays up to ten days each way (inward and outward).
Sunday’s accident would have some effect on trading in Azov Sea, the consultant added. Ukrainian shippers continue to move their cargoes to the main Ukrainian ports like Odessa, Chornomorsk and Yuzhny and try to avoid cargo handling operations in ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk.
On 26 November, at 09:30 pm local time, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted Martial Law proposed by President, citing threat of Russian invasion. The Martial Law will be in effect for 30 days. President Petro Poroshenko was quoted as saying by Reuters that this was necessary to bolster Ukraine’s defenses, after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships and took their crew prisoner at the weekend.
The crisis erupted when border patrol boats from Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armored artillery vessels and a tug boat, after opening fire on them and wounding three sailors on Sunday. The Ukrainian vessels had been trying to enter the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea via the narrow Kerch Strait that separates Crimea from the Russian mainland, according to Reuters.
Sources referred that 24 Ukrainian sailors were being detained. Three of the sailors were wounded but were not in a serious condition and were recovering in hospital.
The FSB said the Ukrainian ships had ignored warning shots, forcing Russian vessels to open fire for real, after they illegally entered Russian territorial waters.