Russian Vladimir Putin 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine against any “reckless acts” after Kiev declared martial law in response to Moscow’s seizure of three of its navy vessels.

The Ukrainian parliament late on Monday voted in favour of President Petro Poroshenko’s request for the introduction of martial law in parts of the country for 30 days.

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The decision came as Ukraine and Russia face their most dangerous crisis in years after Russian forces fired on, boarded and captured Kiev’s ships on Sunday off the coast of Crimea.

Moscow has accused Kiev of planning Sunday’s confrontation as a provocation aimed at drumming up support for Poroshenko ahead of elections next year and convincing Western governments to impose further sanctions on Russia.

In a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin expressed “serious concern” over the introduction of martial law, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin said Kiev’s actions were “clearly taken in view of the election campaign in Ukraine”.

He said he hoped Berlin could intervene with Ukrainian authorities “to dissuade them from further reckless acts”.