ROSTOV-ON-DON, December 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has drafted a plan of action to respond to crises following the November incident involving Ukrainian warships in the Kerch Strait, the press service of Russia’s Southern Military District said on Thursday.

“A plan of the Black Sea Fleet’s action to respond to crisis situation has been elaborated to protect and defend the state border within the Republic of Crimea. It was agreed with the Russian Federal Security Service’s border directorate for the Republic of Crimea and the Krasnodar Territory,” the press service quoted Timur Ryazanov, acting chief of the territorial directorate of the district’s headquarters, as saying.

According to Ryazanov, various units of the Southern district were engaged to settling the Kerch Strait crisis and this fact served as a reason to elaborate the plan.

Kerch Strait incident

In violation of the rules of passage via Russia’s territorial sea and the Kerch Strait, three warships of the Ukrainian Navy crossed Russia’s state border on November 25. The Russian side had to use weapons to compel the ships to stop. Three Ukrainian servicemen were lightly wounded. They received medical assistance. The ships were detained and escorted to the port of Kerch. A criminal case was initiated on border violation charges.

The Russian side described the incident as a provocation.

The twenty-four Ukrainian nationals who were detained after the incident have been arrested till January 25. They face charges of illegal border crossing (part 3, article 322 of the Russian Criminal Code), which carry a punishment of up to six year in prison.

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