US Senate Passes Resolution Condemning Russia’s Aggression Against Ukraine
The Senate urges Russia to release the captured Ukrainian Navy servicemen
Photo from Ukrinform
The resolution was introduced by Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Chris Murphy.
The resolution states that “the Russian Federation’s seizure of the Ukrainian vessels is a blatant violation of its commitments under international law and a 2003 Agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Strait of Kerch.”
It condemns Russia for systematically harassing Ukrainian and international shipping between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea.
“Today, the Senate took action and sent a clear message to Putin that his government’s aggression against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov will not be tolerated. We strongly condemn any military action taken by Russia to unilaterally rewrite international rules,” Murphy said.
The Senate urges Russia to release the captured Ukrainian Navy servicemen.
The resolution also warns Russia that the confrontation off the coast of the Crimean peninsula is “destabilizing” the region and “invites further escalation.”
The Senate “urges members of the international community to unite in opposition to the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation in the Kerch Strait as they infringe upon fundamental principles of international law affecting all nations.”
The resolution is non-binding.
Russian provocations near the Kerch Strait began on Nov. 25. It started with a Russian coastal guard ship ramming into a Ukrainian tugboat that was transporting two artillery boats from Odesa to Mariupol. Russia blocked access to the Azov Sea altogether and sent two Ka-52 attack helicopters to tail the Ukrainian ships. Finally, it fired on the vessels.
Russian Special Forces then seized the three Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea. Several sailors were wounded.
They all face up to six years of imprisonment.