Security Council to meet over Russia-Ukraine clash

Ambassador Nikki Haley announces emergency meeting of UN Security Council following clash near Crimea.

Elad Benari ,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Monday after Russia confirmed it had seized three Ukrainian naval ships by force in a strait near Crimea, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced on Sunday night.

"An emergency Security Council meeting has been called for tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.," she tweeted.

The meeting was requested by both Russia and Ukraine, diplomatic sources told the AFP news agency.

Ukraine's navy had accused Russia of Sunday’s unprecedented incident, including firing on its vessels in the Kerch Strait, a narrow waterway that gives access to the Sea of Azov that is used by both countries.

"In order to stop the Ukrainian military ships, weapons were used," Russia's FSB security service said, confirming that "three Ukrainian navy ships were boarded and searched."

Ukraine's navy said the incident took place as two small warships and a tugboat were heading through the strait for the port of Mariupol.

It said a Russian border guard vessel rammed the tugboat in "openly aggressive actions" and then fired on the ships, immobilizing all three.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said on Sunday night that he would propose that parliament declare martial law in the country following the incident.

Poroshenko said the parliament on Monday could decide whether to approve martial law, which would restrict civil liberties and give state institutions greater power.

The incident is threatening to reignite the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, which intensified in 2014 when Russia occupied and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.