Sea of Azov issues

Radio Free Europe reports that Russian authorities have detained nearly 150 passing merchant vessels

U.S. Accuses Russia of Harassing Ukrainian Shipping

On Wednesday, the Trump administration accused Russia of harassing merchant shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, and it called for a halt to the interference.

The narrow strait is a key transit route for Ukrainian vessels moving between ports on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, and Russia has bolstered its naval presence in the area, citing a need for security after the construction of the controversial Kerch Strait highway bridge. The bridge connects Russia’s contiguous, recognized territory with Russian-occupied Crimea, which was seized from Ukraine by Russian-aligned forces in 2014.

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