27th anniversary of Ukrainian armed forces celebrated

                By Muhammet Ikbal Arslan and Dmitri Chirciu</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - The 27th foundation anniversary of Ukrainian armed forces was celebrated in Turkey’s capital Ankara.</p>    <p>Speaking at an event to mark the anniversary, Ukrainian Ambassador to Ankara Andrii Sybiha hailed relations between Kiev and Ankara. </p>    <p>&quot;Within a short period of time, we managed to revive the powerful combat army by joint efforts of Ukrainians and the international community,&quot; Sybiha said.</p>    <p>Speaking about the Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors, he said Russian actions were a “violation of the freedom of navigation.” </p>    <p>Last month, Russia seized two Ukrainian navy ships and a navy tugboat along with 23 crew members off Crimea, accusing Kiev of entering its waters and provoking a conflict.</p>    <p>It said the vessels had ignored calls to stop, sparking military action.</p>    <p>Russia intervened as the Ukrainian ships were relocating from the Black Sea port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol in the Sea of Azov.</p>    <p>Videos appeared online showing a Russian coast guard vessel ramming the Ukrainian navy tugboat in the Kerch Strait.</p>    <p>Ukraine also accused Russian warships of opening fire on the ships, asserting that crew members were wounded and the vessels were seized by Russia.</p>    <p>&quot;Ukraine is keen to resolve the conflict by peaceful means, but diplomacy will be more effective if strong army stands behind,” the Ukrainian ambassador said.</p>    <p>&quot;That is why Ukraine is moving towards NATO’s full-scale membership by meeting high standards of the Alliance in order to strengthen the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,&quot; he added.

He also expressed gratitude to Turkey and international partners for their support in the process.

Head of EU’s delegation to Turkey Christian Berger, ambassadors of different countries to Ankara, military attaches and other guests attended the event.

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