Russian Federation has partially unblocked Ukraine's ports on the Azov Sea, allowing ship traffic though the Kerch Strait, Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan said Tuesday.
Stoltenberg repeated a call for Russian Federation to release the sailors and ships and allow unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.
"I want to make it quite clear, though, that free shipping to the Sea of Azov must be guaranteed to the Ukrainian coasts and cities". "But to make this possible, Russian Federation must fully comply with its global commitments", he added. The incident has triggered a crisis that has raised fears of a wider conflict.
The Baltic countries were the ones to come up with the fastest and clearest statements in support of Ukraine after the attack by Russian Federation in the Azov Sea, a Ukrainian online publication said. "And we will continue to assess our presence in the region", the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general concluded.
Russian Federation is adamant that the Ukrainian ships had entered its waters without permission.
The vessels and their crews were captured.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko responded to the standoff by introducing martial law for 30 days, something Ukraine hadn't done even after Crimea's annexation and amid large-scale fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists in 2014-2015.
It has also seized a number of maritime gas fields in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea belonging to Ukraine and has reportedly extracted an estimated 7.2 billion cubic metres of gas from those fields.
"We are also concerned about the new Russian missile system which puts the INF treaty in jeopardy. I hope that such a meeting will take place when the American side is ready for it", Putin said, adding that Russian Federation and United States need to conduct a dialog on such hard areas as the INF treaty and START-3, since "this is important for other countries as well".
"It's urgent that Russian Federation ensures full compliance in a transparent and verifiable way because the INF Treaty is so important for our security".
He told reporters: "We will address Russian Federation destabilising behaviour". Similarly, "issues related to the waters of the Kerch Strait shall be settled by agreement between the sides".
He said, "We must ensure we are able to continue to keep all allies safe and secure and will take the necessary decision to ensure this happens in the future".
Ukrainian TV channel "112 Ukraine" on Saturday showed Poroshenko presenting new and overhauled military aircraft, helicopters and drones to the Ukrainian army.
"Generally, from a NATO-wide perspective, no one will see that as a satisfactory move or end of the matter", the administration official added.
Russian Federation seized 24 Ukrainian sailors on 25 November in the first open clash between the two states since 2014.