Ukrainian Politicians Dissuss Russia’s Aggression in Azov Sea at a Roundtable
They discussed the effectiveness of international legal, political and diplomatic tools for ensuring the maritime security of Ukraine in the Black and Azov Seas
“These active hostilities affected the Azov and Black Sea areas. It means that Russia intends to completely block this Azov Sea area. In fact, it has already done so, to have a wide margin to maneuver for amphibious assault landing along the entire Ukrainian coast of the Azov Sea. Moreover, it becomes obvious that Russia will introduce the same occupation scheme of the Ukrainian territorial waters on the Black Sea as well,” Hryhoriy Perepelytsia, the director of the Foreign Policy of Research Institute said.
In view of a new wave of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Atlantic Council institute conducted a survey of Ukrainian and foreign experts, who suggested a number of steps which Ukraine needs to take in order to resolve the conflict.
According to them, Ukraine must:
– introduce martial law;
– break diplomatic relations with Russia;
– introduce a visa regime with Russia;
– terminate political agreements with Russia;
– restrict the movement of Russian citizens across Ukraine’s borders;
– stop imports from Russia;
– neutralize the fifth column inside Ukraine
“Almost every expert had the idea of strengthening the military presence of the NATO member countries in the Black Sea. One of the colleagues suggested sending NATO ships to protect freedom of navigation and to start a military patrol of the Black Sea with NATO ships and the involvement of the Naval Forces of Ukraine and Georgia,” Volodymyr Ohryzko, the minister of foreign affairs in Ukraine from 2007 to 2009 said.
According to the experts, the treaty between Russia and Ukraine on the use of the Azov Sea must be immediately revised.
“Concurrently, we must take one more step. Namely, we must adopt a Ukrainian law on inland waters, territorial sea, an adjacent zone, an exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of Ukraine. The law must be applicable to the Black Sea. By the way, we have not established the boundaries of our waters there and to the waters of the Azov Sea,” said Leonid Osavoliuk, the ambassador-at-large of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs between 2008 and 2017.
The group also discussed the effectiveness of international legal, political and diplomatic tools for ensuring the maritime security of Ukraine in the Black and Azov Seas, as well as other political and diplomatic aspects of the ongoing conflict.