Ukraine’s president has urged Nato to deploy naval ships to the Sea of Azov amid a stand-off with Russia.

Petro Poroshenko made the call in an interview with the German daily Bild, saying: “We hope that states within Nato are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security.”

In Sunday’s confrontation, the Russian coastguard fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels trying to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait, between Russia’s mainland and the Crimean peninsula it annexed from Ukraine.

Ukraine insisted that its vessels were operating in line with international maritime rules, while Russia said they had failed to get permission to pass.

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