Dienstag, 11.12.2018 06:47 Uhr

De-escalate the tense circumstances in the Azov Sea

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome/Vienna, 29.11.2018, 09:40 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Politik +++ Bericht 2608x gelesen

Rome/Vienna [ENA] OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Enzo Moavero Milanesi and Secretary General Thomas Greminger on 26 November called for moderation and dialogue to de-escalate the tense circumstances in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. Russian Federation opened a new bridge connecting Crimea to the rest of Russia across the Azov Sea in May. The bridge, according to Russian officials is destined to integrate the disputed peninsula

of Crimea, annexed by Moscow from Ukraine in 2014, into Russia’s transport infrastructure. Kremlin can control maritime access to an area of water approximately the size of Belgium and limit ships transiting the Kerch Strait beneath the central span of the bridge. On Sunday, 25th of November, while the Ukrainian vessels were attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait, the narrow channel joining the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, Russian forces shot at three Ukrainian vessels and requisitioned a total of two dozen sailors who were detained at a nearby port.

In response, Ukrainian President Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko declared 30 days of martial law in border areas over what he called a violation of international law. Russia attributed the incident on Ukrainian provocation. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined other Western leaders in denunciating the Kremlin and presumed Russia aggression. OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Enzo Moavero Milanesi declared: “We are extremely concerned over the reported developments in the area of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. We call on all parties to contribute by political and diplomatic means to de-escalate the situation and ease tensions to avoid further risks

of destabilization in the region. We urge all sides to refrain from the use of force and settle any disputes by peaceful means, in full compliance with international law, OSCE principles and commitments, and fully respecting Countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. These recent events confirm the need to work together concretely in the OSCE to address risk reduction and incident prevention”. Secretary General Greminger emphasized that immediate de-escalation is both urgent and essential. "I urge Ukraine and the Russian Federation to exercise restraint, step back from any further provocations and immediately engage in dialogue to reduce the risk of further tensions in the region" declared Greminger.

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