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Polish, Ukrainian presidents urge stepped up sanctions on Moscow: report

The Polish and Ukrainian presidents have called for stepped up sanctions against Russia amid escalated tensions between Kiev and Moscow, according to reports.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday declared martial law in his country for 30 days, a move that needs to be approved by parliament to come into force.

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev escalated after Russia on Sunday fired on and seized three Ukrainian ships near Crimea.

Poroshenko has held telephone talks with Poland’s Andrzej Duda about the crisis, according to Krzysztof Szczerski, chief foreign policy adviser to the Polish head of state.

“We believe that stepping up the sanctions regime against Russia should be considered and discussed with allies internationally,” said Szczerski, as quoted by public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.

Poland ‘safe’

Szczerski added that Poland was safe despite an escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

The Polish defence minister said earlier on Monday that there were no signs that a naval standoff between Ukraine and Russia posed an increased threat to Poland.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted that an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council has been called over the escalating situation.

The meeting was scheduled to take place in New York at 5pm Polish time on Monday.

Russia on Sunday captured three Ukrainian navy ships near the annexed Crimea peninsula.

The Ukrainian navy said that several Ukrainian sailors were injured after Russian forces opened fire on the vessels in the Kerch Strait, a narrow body of water separating the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov and dividing Crimea from southern Russia.

Russia’s FSB security service said the Ukrainian ships had entered Russian territorial waters illegally.

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