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EU and NATO urge Russia not to aggravate situation in Sea of Azov

Official Brussels notes that the events in the Sea of Azov are a demonstration of how instability and tensions are bound to rise when the basic rules of international cooperation are disregarded
02:38, 26 November 2018

Open source

The European Union calls on Russia to restore the passage of ships through the Kerch Strait and reduce the degree of tension. This is said in the EU foreign service emergency statement.

"The tensions in the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait have increased dangerously today, after an incident this morning between Russian and Ukrainian naval vessels as the latter were attempting to pass through the Kerch strait as well as subsequent developments, including the closure of the strait for traffic by Russian authorities and reported seizures of Ukrainian vessels and shots being fired at them," said the speaker of the EU diplomatic service.

Official Brussels notes that today's events in the Sea of Azov are a demonstration of how instability and tensions are bound to rise when the basic rules of international cooperation are disregarded.

The illegal construction of the Kerch Bridge, which is another violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in parallel with the militarization of the Sea of Azov, led to a tightening of control over the naval movement in the strait. The European Union expects Russia to stop checking ships.

Related: Ukraine's National Security Council may convene to announce martial law


"The EU does not recognize the illegal accession of the Crimean Peninsula to Russia," summed up European diplomats.

NATO also calls on Russia and Ukraine for restraint in the Sea of Azov to defuse the situation. This was stated by principal Spokesperson for the North Atlantic Alliance Oana Lungesku.




Related: Russian forces captured three Ukrainian ships, two sailors wounded

Meanwhile, the HQ of the Ukrainian Navy reported that the number of wounded Ukrainian sailors increased to six; the servicemen were wounded during the attack of Russian naval group in Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov.

Earlier, 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.  

‘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: Aggravation in Azov Sea: Poroshenko convenes military office

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