In what can be a move that can further strain relations between Ukraine and Russia, Ukraine on Saturday closed its ports to Russian ships, said multiple Russian media reports.

Iran PressEurope: Ukraine's new law has effectively denied access to Russian ships (cargo and passenger) access to its inland waters. The proposal to restrict Russian vessels in inland waters was proposed by Ukraine in 2018. The country passed a law to this effect in 2020. The law has come into effect on January 1, 2022.

This development has come on the same day as Ukraine's army's report that said that a Ukrainian soldier was killed during the fight with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern region of the country. It is alleged that the separatists enjoy support from Russia but Russia has repeatedly denied this.

Ukraine and Russia are already at odds with each other over Russian troop build-up along the border. Though Russia has said that it does not intend to invade Ukraine, it has been alleging that Ukraine's maneuvers were creating security threats for Russia. Ukraine was part of erstwhile Soviet Russia. Russia has already annexed Crimea, formerly a part of Ukraine.

Western nations have issued a number of warnings to Russian President Vladimir Putin against invading Ukraine. Putin has made clear that the inclusion of Ukraine in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) would be unacceptable to Russia.

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