Russia not to force Ukraine to refuse from using Kerch Strait, - Ukraine's Defense Minister

According to Minister Poltorak, Russia wants to annex Azov Sea in such way
21:36, 16 January 2019

Ministry of Defense of Ukraine

The Russian Federation will not force Ukraine to refuse from its legal right of the passage through Kerch Strait, as 112 Ukraine reported citing Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak.

“One of the tasks set by Russia, when it organized the provocation in Kerch Strait was to provoke us to the response, to make us shell and use this possibility to begin open aggression against Ukraine. The second aim was to make us to refuse from the passage through Kerch Strait and Azov Sea and actually to hold the annexation of the Sea of Azov. But we will never agree on such step. We will not give over any piece of our land,” Poltorak said.

Related: Ukraine sends ECHR full statement against Russia's actions during Azov crisis

He emphasized that Ukraine will not refuse from its legal right in accordance with all international commitments of the maritime law, international treaties to pass through Kerch Strait.

Earlier Poltorak stated that Ukraine will continue carrying out passages through the Kerch Strait and sending vessels to Azov Sea ports despite the existing danger.

Related: During Azov crisis, Ukrainian ships were shelled from large-caliber cannon

On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov

21 Ukrainian sailors have been delivered to Lefortovo remand center in Moscow, three others are in the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison, also in the Russian capital. On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.

Related: Poland names Russian aggression in Azov Sea most important international event in 2018

On December 26, Crimean Supreme Court left all Ukrainian sailors under arrest.

On January 15, the Ukrainian sailors refused to testify in Lefortovo court, where they face an extension of the sentence term.

Related: Russia built Crimean Bridge to close Sea of Azov for Ukraine

As it was reported, Russian Security Service asked to hold a hearing on the case of the Ukrainian POW  in camera.

On January 16, Lefortovo court has extended the arrest period for all Ukrainian sailors who suffered the attack of the Russian Navy in the Kerch Strait in November.


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