Poroshenko: We Will Not Let Russia Decide How to Use Azov Sea
He said that Russia should explain why new missile complexes are now located in Kerch and Feodosia in Crimea
Photo from president.gov.ua
Ukraine will not allow Russia to decide how to use the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait, and will apply all legal mechanisms to protect its interests, President Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with CNN Turk.
“We will never recognize the occupation of the Azov Sea, which Russia is trying to organize now. We will never recognize the occupation of the Kerch Strait, and we insist on international law. We will use the Kerch Strait and the Azov Sea,” Poroshenko said.
“Because the Azov Sea is the zone of economic activity of a multimillion agglomeration in the east of my country. I hate the idea that Russia will decide how we should use the Azov Sea. We will not allow this.”
Poroshenko spoke about Russia’s seizure and capture of Ukrainian boats and sailors near the Kerch Strait on Nov. 25, 2018.
“This was not only in the Kerch Strait. Regular Russian troops under the Russian flag attacked a vessel of the Ukrainian fleet, opened fire with 30 millimeter weapons, without any reason opened fire on my sailors, launched an assault operation, provoking Ukrainians to open fire in response.”
The president said that Ukraine has evidence that the Russian attack had been carried out in neutral waters. “We have video, radio interception, satellite images; we have everything. In the neutral waters of the Black Sea, not far from Turkey, by the way.”
“And Russia speaks about provocations? These are open international waters; these are internal Ukrainian waters. There is international law and a bilateral treaty, where the Kerch Strait is a common strait belonging both to Ukraine and Russia, and this was just a planned move from Odesa to Mariupol for the rotation of these two small warships. They do not have any additional weapons, additional members of the crew, nothing.”
Poroshenko said that Russia cannot explain why and who decided to attack the Ukrainian ships.
He also drew attention to the security issues in the Black Sea. He said that this is an extremely important issue for all states of the Black Sea region: Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Georgia.
He wants Russia to explain why the new air defense C-400 complex and a new anti-ship complex are now located in Kerch and Feodosia in Crimea.
“This is absolutely unacceptable. We will not allow the militarization of the Black Sea, and in this situation, we must be ready to answer.”