Photo from FSB

The speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament plans to give state awards to the border guards who fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors a week ago, Russian media say.

Vyacheslav Volodin said they acted "faultlessly, courageously" to thwart what Russia describes as a violation of its maritime border in the Black Sea, according to the BBC.

Ukraine and Western countries have condemned the incident as a flagrant violation of international law.

They deny it was in Russia's waters.

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It was the most dangerous clash between the two since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014.

At least three of the 24 Ukrainian service personnel were injured in the incident, and all were detained for 60 days.

Mr. Volodin said, quoted by RIA news agency: "I want to emphasise that this is the opinion of all the political factions in the State Duma - our border guards conducted themselves faultlessly, they courageously and efficiently carried out the task of protecting our borders, and followed all international norms and rules."

The chamber's security and anti-corruption committee would look into the matter of honouring the troops, he added.

This is not the first time Russia has proposed state awards for internationally controversial figures.

In March 2015 one of the suspects in the 2006 murder in London of the Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi, was given a medal for "services to the Motherland" by President Vladimir Putin.