Ukraine foreign minister demands sailors’ release by Russia
MINSK, Belarus — The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday voted to withdraw from a wide-ranging treaty on friendship with Russia, the latest step in escalating tensions between the two neighbours.
The Supreme Rada overwhelmingly supported a motion by President Petro Poroshenko not to prolong the treaty when it comes up for renewal in April. The camouflage-clad president on Thursday visited an air base to announce an upcoming dispatch of troops to the Russian border.
The long-simmering conflict between Russia and Ukraine that started with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 spilled into the open Nov. 25 when the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews.
The seamen are still in Russian captivity.