The Latest: Ukraine seeks NATO support over Russia standoff

The Latest: Ukraine seeks NATO support over Russia standoff
A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (Evgeniy Maloletka)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The Latest on the tensions between Russia and Ukraine(all times local):

11:15 a.m.

NATO foreign ministers are meeting with Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin as the country seeks international backing for its Black Sea standoff with Russia.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the 28 other NATO foreign ministers will offer political support to Ukraine, but will not provide naval escorts or any military assistance beyond what's being done now.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated last week when Russian border guards fired on three Ukrainian navy vessels near the Russia-annexed Crimea peninsula. The vessels and their crews were captured.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. NATO foreign ministers meet for a two-day session beginning on Tuesday, to discuss among other issues, tensions between Russia and Ukraine and Moscow's missile development. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. NATO foreign ministers meet for a two-day session beginning on Tuesday, to discuss among other issues, tensions between Russia and Ukraine and Moscow's missile development. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) (AP)

Ahead of the two-day NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the allies are already doing a lot in the Black Sea and that now "we are closely monitoring the situation."

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (AP)

Stoltenberg called Monday "for calm and restraint. Russia must release the Ukrainian sailors and ships."

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (AP)

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A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (AP)

11:10 a.m.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (AP)

Ukraine says traffic has resumed to and from its ports on the Sea of Azov following a standoff with Russia.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, second left, addresses Ukrainian soldiers as Canadian Army Lieutenant General Jean-Marc Lanthier stands at center, and commander of U.S. Army in Europe Christopher Cavoli stands right, during military drills in base Honcharivske, Chernihiv region, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Ukraine’s president announced a partial call-up of reservists for training amid tensions with Russia, saying Monday that the country needs to beef up its defenses to counter the threat of a Russian invasion. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, second left, addresses Ukrainian soldiers as Canadian Army Lieutenant General Jean-Marc Lanthier stands at center, and commander of U.S. Army in Europe Christopher Cavoli stands right, during military drills in base Honcharivske, Chernihiv region, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Ukraine’s president announced a partial call-up of reservists for training amid tensions with Russia, saying Monday that the country needs to beef up its defenses to counter the threat of a Russian invasion. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) (AP)

Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said merchant ships were moving through the Kerch Strait linking the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea.

Ukrainian soldiers move to position in a APC during military drills in base Honcharivske, Chernihiv region, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. President Petro Poroshenko says Russia has deployed a large number of troops along its border with Ukraine. He warns that Russia intends to push further inland into Ukraine following last week's naval clash between their forces in the Black Sea. Russia has already annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian soldiers move to position in a APC during military drills in base Honcharivske, Chernihiv region, Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. President Petro Poroshenko says Russia has deployed a large number of troops along its border with Ukraine. He warns that Russia intends to push further inland into Ukraine following last week's naval clash between their forces in the Black Sea. Russia has already annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) (AP)

Omelyan, who accused Russia last week of blocking the Strait for Ukrainian cargoes, said Tuesday that the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol have been "partially unblocked" thanks to a "stern international response."

Lids emblazoned with a Ukrainian emblem cover the barrels on a gun mount aboard a Ukrainian coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Lids emblazoned with a Ukrainian emblem cover the barrels on a gun mount aboard a Ukrainian coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (AP)

Russia, however, insisted that it never blocked vessels from traveling through the Kerch Strait and that any possible disruptions were linked to bad weather.

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coast guard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Ukrainian military has been on increased readiness as part of martial law introduced in the country in the wake of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels along with their crews. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) (AP)

Relations between the two neighbors have been further strained over a Nov. 25 incident in which the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews.