The UK has reaffirmed its support for Ukraine in the face of “Russian aggression,” as Moscow and Kiev continue to trade barbs over political and territorial disputes.
“The UK is a steadfast partner to Ukraine as it faces continued illegal acts of aggression against its sovereignty,” British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson said after meeting his Ukrainian counterpart, Stepan Poltorak, on a visit to Odessa on Friday.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated earlier this year after Ukraine seized two Russian ships for port calls on Crimea, which rejoined Russia in a 2014 referendum.
The move prompted Russia to increase patrols in the Sea of Azov to guarantee free navigation for its ships.
The issue took a turn for worse last month, when Russia seized three Ukrainian navy ships off the coast of Crimea.
The Sea of Azov is a strategic ocean route linked to the Black Sea by the narrow Strait of Kerch, where Russia has built a bridge…