US Senate Passes Resolution Condemning Russia’s Aggression Against Ukraine

The Senate urges Russia to release the captured Ukrainian Navy servicemen

uatv
30.11.2018

Photo from Ukrinform

The United States Senate unanimously cleared a resolution on Nov. 29 condemning Russia’s “provocative actions” against Ukraine, after Moscow seized three of the country’s ships, the Hill reported.

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.

Russia’s FSB security service said it had opened a criminal case into what it called the ships’ illegal entry into Russian territorial waters.

Between Nov. 27 and 28, the Russian-controlled Simferopol District Court remanded 21 Ukrainian sailors in custody until Jan. 25, 2019.

The three wounded sailors who were in the Kerch hospital were detained by the Kerch City Court. They are also detained until Jan. 25. 

They all face up to six years of imprisonment.

In Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada voted to pass martial law on Oct. 26 in 10 regions of the country for 30 days.

Source The Hill
date 30.11.2018
categories World
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