26 November 2018
Anna Fotyga, Chair of the European Parliament's subcommittee on Security and Defence, has condemned Russia's recent and continuing posturing in the Sea of Azov, which is part of the Black Sea area and bounded by Ukraine and Russia. Her comments come a day after Russian coast guard vessels opened fire on, and seized, three Ukrainian navy vessels.
Anna Fotyga, ECR Group MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on Security and Defence, has condemned Russia’s recent and continuing posturing in the Sea of Azov, which is part of the Black Sea area and bounded by Ukraine and Russia.
Her comments come a day after Russian coast guard vessels opened fire on, and seized, three Ukrainian navy vessels. This is the latest in a series of incidents in the Sea of Azov, thatcan be accessed via the Kerch Strait, which have seen seen the spurious and unjustified blocking and inspection by Russian authorities of local and international vessels on their way to or from Ukraine. This has been further exacerbated by the construction of the Kerch Bridge, which opened this year over the Strait, and links the Russian mainland to the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Speaking after yesterday’s incidents, Fotyga said:
“I condemn in the strongest terms the recent and continued
aggressive posture of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. These actions puts into question international principles, such as freedom of navigation and international trade. Yesterday’s hostile military actions by the Russian navy in the Sea of Azov was a further testament of Russia’s openly belligerent approach to Ukraine’s territorial integrity, international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“As chair of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on Security and Defence, we recently went to Mariupol, Ukraine, where we have witnessed first-hand the continued illegal harassment of Ukraine’s merchant vessels, something utterly unacceptable. By initiating such hostilities, Russia has further escalated its aggression against the security of the Sea of Azov, the Black Sea and Europe atlarge. Following the recent resolution over the situation in the Sea of Azov, the European Parliament has once more given its strong voice in support to a cessation of hostilities and called for the end to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and occupation of Ukraine’s South-eastern provinces.
“The Transatlantic community must be swift, united and resolute in its response to Russia’s ongoing and continued aggression in Europe. The Western response should be all encompassing and unwavering, including reinforcement of sanctions against Russia until it ceases its illegal and aggressive attitude to its neighbours and starts to respect fundamental principles of international law.”
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