Britain condemns Russia's 'act of aggression against' Ukraine: PM May's spokesman

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain condemned Russia on Monday after Russian vessels fired on and captured three Ukrainian naval ships near Crimea, saying the incident provided further evidence of Moscow’s destabilizing behavior.

“We condemn Russia’s act of aggression ... This incident provides further evidence of Russia’s destabilizing behavior in the region,” Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman told reporters.

“The UK position is clear, ships must be allowed free passage to Ukrainian ports in the sea of Azov. We urge all parties to act with restraint. Russia must not be allowed to use force to exert greater pressure on Ukraine.”

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted that the incident showed Russians “contempt for international norms and Ukrainian sovereignty”.

Reporting by Kylie Maclellan, writing by William James