On November 1, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuri Lutsenko announced that the Kiev government had arrested the cargo ship COMAT in the port of Mariupol at the Sea of Azov. Authorities confiscated 3,000 tons of steel plates.
Lutsenko claimed that the steel plates had been produced at Alachevsk Steel Mill in the Luganks People’s Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine and was heading under the flag of Liberia from some “Russian port” to Beligum. Furthermore, the Prosecutor General claimed that the detained persons will be charged with “financing terrorism”.
An interesting thing is that the LPR and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), two self-proclaimed states formed during the conflcit in eastern Ukraine, have never been designated as “terrorist groups” by the Ukrainian government or any other state. So, Lutsenko’s claims are in contrary to the Ukranian law. However, this is not something uncommon for the Poroshenko regime.
Another interesting thing that Lutsenko described the arrest of the cargo ship as “Our [Ukrainian] response to the “sactions”. On November 1, Russia imposed sanctions on 322 individuals and 68 companies linked to the Poroshenko regime, including Poroshenko’s two sons, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Security Service chief Vasyl Hrytsak and Deputy Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze. All of the sanctioned individuals’ and businesses’ accounts in Russian banks will be frozen and all their property will be seized. These sanctions are a long-awaited response by the Kremlin to the Kiev regime’s hostile actions against the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine and unfriendly actions toward Russia-linked entities and individuals.
Besides the tensions over the situation in eastern Ukraine, Kiev and Moscow are now in a crisis over the Sea of Azov. On October 30, Ukraine released seven crew members of the Russian fishing boat The Nord. They were exchanged for seven Ukrainian poachers from the ships YaMK-0041 and YaOD-2015, detained earlier for illegal fishing.
On March 25, 2018 the Ukrainian border guard service detained The Nord in the Sea of Azov. The detention of the boat in Russian territorial waters triggered a crisis in the Ukrainian-Russian relations in the region. Russia deployed additional caostal guard vessels in the area and employed a wide range of security measures there. Constant checks of ships moving to the Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov were among the measures employed. The Kiev-triggered crisis led to signficiant economic losses of the Ukrainian ports. However, at the same time, Kiev used this situation for further anti-Russian accusations saying that the Russian actions to defend its citizens are a sign of “agression”.
Now, when some experts thought that Kiev understood that its appraoch does not work, it appeared that the Poroshenko will continue its hostile actions in the Sea of Azov. This will most likely lead to a further pressure from Russia.