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France, Netherlands, UK, Poland, and Sweden urge to release Ukrainian sailors

They called Russia to restore freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait
21:40, 26 November 2018
Conflict in Sea of Azov
TASS

Permanent representatives of member countries of the EU in the UN Security Council expressed grave concern due to the situation escalation in the Sea of Azov and called Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors. The claim was published on the website of French mission in the UN.

‘The Permanent Representatives of the Members from the European Union of the Security Council at informal exchanges of views, held on their request, of the members of the Security Council during their visit to Beijing, expressed grave concern about the recent escalation of tension in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait,’ reads the message.

Related: UN Security Council blocks Russia-initiated consideration of “border violation”

It is claimed that the permanent representatives approved full recognition of the territorial integrity, the independence and the sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.

‘Detained Ukrainian sailors should be freed and captured vessels returned,’ reads the statement.

The permanent representatives have also urged Russia to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, as well as restore freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait. Diplomats called on everyone to act with the utmost restraint, for the immediate de-escalation of the situation.

Related: Media published list of Ukrainian sailors captured during Azov Sea crisis

The UN Security Council blocked Russian-initiated consideration of the issue of the alleged “violation of borders” during the emergency session regarding the aggressive acts of the Russian Federation conducted against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov.

As it was reported, Viktor Muzhenko, Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told the entire course of events which lead to the escalation of the crisis in the Sea of Azov at the National Security and Defence Council session. The coast guard ships of the Russian Navy acted aggressively against 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.   

Related: Normandy four meeting to be held on November 26 despite Azov crisis, - Ukraine's MFA

‘Today, November 25, the ships of the Ukrainian Navy with two armored gunboats and a sea mule tugboat have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. The intention to make the transition was informed in advance in accordance with international standards in order to ensure the safety of navigation. However, contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, the Russian coast guard ships - Sobol class patrol boat, Don border guard cruiser, Mangust class patrol boat and Suzdalets anti-submarine warfare ship performed blatantly aggressive acts against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy,’ reads the message. 

Related: Merkel says she would do everything to de-escalate situation in Azov Sea

It is specified that Don border guard cruiser rammed the Ukrainian armored artillery boat, which led to the damage of the main engine, planting and accommodation rail, life float is lost. The Ukrainian Navy states that "the dispatcher service of the occupiers refuses to ensure the right of freedom of navigation, guaranteed by international agreements."

Related: Poroshenko announces introduction of martial law from November 28 in Ukraine

Thus, according to the Ukrainian side, Russia has once again demonstrated its aggressive nature and complete disregard for the norms of international law. 

Related: Three former Presidents of Ukraine address Parliament over martial law

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