Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that Russia is building up forces and weapons in the Black and Azov Seas and does not exclude that the Kremlin might prepare for an attack on Mariupol (Donetsk region) and for blocking Ukrainian exports, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
“We see a significant increase in the escalation of tension. Russia has illegally occupied territories and dramatically increased its military groups. For the first time, it deployed a strike aviation group, modern missile systems, modern anti-aircraft systems. We see that the Black Sea Fleet illegally stationed in the annexed Ukrainian Sevastopol was strengthened with submarines, new warships, armed with long-range sea-launched missiles,” Poroshenko said in Odesa on Monday at a ceremony to present certificates for new diving equipment to representatives of the Ukrainian Navy. He noted that Russia had begun to illegally stop and inspect ships heading to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea under flags of Ukraine and other states.