Ukraine seeks consultations of Budapest memo signatories over tensions in Kerch Strait

08 December, 2018, 21:59 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Klimkin hinted that at least one NATO member was ready to enhance its presence in the Black Sea

Omeljan stressed that the Ministry of Infrastructure is working with allies in the anti-Russian coalition on the return of the occupied territories, the release of the captured sailors and ships, the restoration of worldwide law and the cessation of the economic blockade of Azov region of Ukraine.

Commercial ships were moving through the Kerch Strait linking the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said.

The possible move comes in response to a naval incident in the Kerch Strait on November 25 when three Ukrainian Navy ships entered Russian territorial waters in violation of global law.

In a statement by the Embassy of Ukraine in Nigeria, Mykola Yaremchuk, first secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine said the attack on the ships was carried out during a sea crossing from the port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol, in accordance with the provisions of all effective multilateral and bilateral worldwide treaties and navigation rules.

The vessels were attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait, which is located between Russia's mainland and the Crimean Peninsula that Russian Federation annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

The passage at the start of this month of a small number of ships doesn't resolve the issue, Ukraine's Sea Ports Administration said Tuesday.

The worldwide community views the annexation as illegal and the election Russian Federation uses to justify it as illegitimate. However, since the 2014 annexation, and the completion of the Kerch bridge earlier this year, Russian Federation has slowly restricted access for Ukrainian ships.


Concerned about an outright invasion by Russia, Ukrainian reserve units have been called up while the president, Petro Poroshenko, declared 30 days of marshal law that will bar Russian males from entering the country.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also claimed Wednesday that the Ukrainian government had undertaken "active preparations" for a military offensive in eastern Ukraine, using the recent declaration of martial law in select regions as a cover.

"For me there's nothing more important than getting them out", Poroshenko told relatives of some of the 24 seamen taken by Russian Federation last month.

The seamen have joined a long list of Ukrainians held in Russian Federation, including filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who refused food for 145 days in his Arctic penal colony earlier this year.

Russia's Investigative Committee has accused the Ukrainians of illegal border crossing.

"According to their status, according to the Geneva Convention, they are prisoners of war and can not be tried in any Kremlin court", he said.

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