MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian navy says a Russian coast guard vessel rammed a Ukrainian navy tugboat, resulting in damage to the ship's engines and hull.
The incident took place Sunday as three Ukrainian naval ships were transiting from Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov, via the Kerch Strait.
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) told Russian news agencies Sunday that the Ukrainian ships held their course even though the area was temporarily closed.
"Their goal is clear," an FSB statement said, "to create a conflict situation in the region." The statement did not mention ramming the Ukrainian tugboat.
Though a 2003 treaty designates the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters, Russia has been asserting greater control over the passage since 2015.