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2018-12-05

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www.thehindu.com

Russia has begun allowing some ships to enter Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov, Kiev said on Tuesday, in what could signal an easing of tensions in the flashpoint area.

Ukraine has accused Moscow of blocking merchant vessels from entering and leaving the ports.

In late November, the situation in the waters escalated when Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy ships and arrested 24 sailors in the first open military conflict between the countries since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014.

“The Berdyansk and Mariupol ports have been partially unblocked,” Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said.

However, 17 ships were still waiting to enter the Sea of Azov and one was waiting to leave, he added.

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