“Despite the statements of Kyiv and Brussels, Russia is not increasing its military presence in Azov Sea. The forces located there are mainly used for securing the Kerch Bridge. The actions of Ukraine, which announced the creation of a naval base in Bersyansk and regularly closes separate areas of Azov Sea to conduct artillery shells, are directed towards the militarization of the Sea of Azov,” the statement says.
At the same time, Russia recommends Kyiv to refuse from attempts to revise the current status of Azov Sea as of inland waters of two states.
“We urge Kyiv to refrain from any adventures directed at unilateral establishment of state border in Azov Sea which Russian does not recognize. Russian Federation warns that Ukraine and the countries which support its provocative actions are responsible for the further possible aggravation of the situation in Azov-Kerch water area,” the message says.
It should be noted that Russia considers Azov Sea as inland waters of Russia and Ukraine. Therefore, Kerch Straight has never been and is not international, and the requirements of transit or peaceful passage of foreign vessels do not apply to it. Therefore, the inspections of the Russian border guards of the foreign vessels in the Azov Sea are legal.