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Escalation in Azov Sea - Ukraine's MFA threatens Russia with reaction

The Ukrainian diplomatic service claims that provocative actions of Russia in the Black and Azov Sea crossed the line
21:25, 25 November 2018

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine promises to take all appropriate measures of diplomatic and international legal response regarding the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation to Ukrainian warships in the Sea of Azov. This is stated in a message posted on the website of the ministry.

"Provocative actions of Russia in the Black and Azov Sea crossed the line and became aggressive. The ships of the Russian Federation, in violation of the freedom of navigation, improperly used force against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy. We regard such actions as violation of the norms of the UN Charter, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine will take all appropriate measures of diplomatic and international legal response," it says.

Related: Ukrainian boats near Kerch Strait on combat alert, - Ukrainian Navy Commander


At the same time, the Foreign Ministry promised to inform the partners without delay about the aggressive actions of Russia in the Sea of Azov. "They carry a security threat to all states of the Black Sea region, and therefore require a clear response from the international community," the statement summarizes.

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. The press office of the Ukrainian Navy reported this on Facebook.  

‘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: "This is serious": MEP comments on escalation in Sea of Azov

Russian authorities said that three Ukrainian warships in the Sea of Azov illegally entered the territorial waters of the Russian Federation and headed to the Kerch Strait. This is particularly stated in the message of the Federal Security Service border guards in Crimea, reports TASS.

"This morning around 07:00 Moscow time, three ships of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, in violation of Articles 19 and 21 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, defining the coastal state’s right to ensure security in the maritime territory, crossed the state border of the Russian Federation, wrongly entered in the temporarily closed water area within Russian territorial waters", it is noted in the message.

It also clarifies that the vessel headed to the Kerch Strait, which has a permissive procedure for the movement and anchorage of vessels, in accordance with the schedule of the movement and placement of vessels, approved by the captain of the Russian seaport.

Related: Russia uses combat helicopters to escort Ukrainian ships in Sea of Azov

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