Ukrainian Navy Ship Heading Toward Kerch, Ignores Demands to Change Course, FSB Says

[Upd.: The Ukrainian Navy’s command ship Donbass later turned back, but did not respond to requests, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said]

Dec 9, 2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Ukrainian Navy’s command ship Donbass is moving toward the Kerch Strait, it does not react to demands to change the course, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Thursday.

“On December 9 of this year, at 09:12 [06:12 GMT], command ship Donbass of the Ukrainian Navy left the roadstead of the port of Mariupol and moved toward the Kerch Strait. In accordance with the mandatory regulations in the seaport of Kerch, approved by the order of the Russian Transport Ministry No. 313 dated October 21, 2015, the Ukrainian side did not submit applications for the passage of the Kerch-Yenikalsky Canal,” the statement says.

It is noted that at 13:45, FSB accompanying coast guard ship warned the Ukrainian vessel of the need to comply with Russian legislation (in terms of filing the necessary applications for passage through the Kerch Strait). An answer was received that it did not plan to pass through the Kerch Strait.

“At present, Donbass is located at a distance of 18 nautical miles to the Kerch Strait, it does not comply with the requirements to change the course. These actions pose a threat to the safety of navigation,” the FSB added.

The Ukrainian state border service reportedly said it is unaware about the situation with the navy’s control ship Donbass.

According to the MarineTraffic portal, about 80 civilian ships are now in the Kerch Strait.

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