UK defense chief takes Black Sea ride on Ukrainian gunboat

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MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Britain's defense minister has taken a ride aboard a Ukrainian naval vessel in the Black Sea in a gesture of support after last month's naval clash between Russia and Ukraine.

On Nov. 26, Russian coast guard vessels fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval ships in the Black Sea as they tried to sail to Ukrainian ports on the nearby Sea of Azov. Russia also detained the ships' 24 crewmen.

U.K. Defense Minister Gavin Williamson went to sea Friday on a vessel similar to one of the seized Ukrainian gunboats with Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak.

Williamson's visit followed the arrival earlier this week of a British warship at the Ukrainian port of Odessa, located on the Black Sea. Poltorak was given a tour of the British vessel.

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