Ukrainian Navy ships arrive in Mariupol after passing through Kerch Strait
The Ukrainian Navy's search and rescue ship Donbas and the tugboat Korets have arrived at the port of Mariupol, Donetsk region, along with them two small armored artillery boats, the P177 Kremenchuk and the P178 Lubny.
"Today, on September 25, at 09.35, the arrival of the tugboat Korets completed the transfer of a group of ships of the Ukrainian Navy to the port of Mariupol," the Ukrainian Navy's press service said on Facebook.
"Near the Mariupol raid in the anchorage area a Russian border service cutter of the Mangust type staged a provocation [...] steering dangerously close to a Ukrainian boat. The Russian cutter tried to get close to our ships at great speed, but determined actions of the crews of the Lubny and Kremenchuk vessels prevented it from getting too close to the Donbas and the Korets," the post said.
"No payment for pilotage services passing through the Kerch Strait was paid," the Navy press service said.
As earlier reported, the Donbas rescue and research military vessel and the Korets tugboat did not ask Russia for permission to pass through the Kerch-Yenikale canal heading to the Azov Sea.
"Our vessels have not asked for any permission from Russia and exercised their sovereign right for passage," Navy press officer Oleh Chalyk told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine agency on Monday.
On September 23, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko congratulated the sailors from the Donbas and Korets military vessels.
"These vessels will become a part of the new Ukraine's naval base in the Azov Sea region," Poroshenko said on Facebook page.
So-called authorities in Russia-occupied Crimea said the Donbas and Korets vessels did receive permission from Russia to pass through the Kerch-Yenikale canal and allegedly requested pilot support.