Assembly President Madeleine Moon condemns Russia’s “provocative” seizure of Ukrainian ships

Brussels/London, 26 November 2018 -  NATO PA President Madeleine Moon has called upon Russia to release the Ukrainian vessels it has seized in the Kerch Strait and to cease hindering Ukraine from exercising its right to free navigation in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.

“In recent months, Russia has deliberately heightened tensions in the Sea of Azov by inspecting Ukrainian vessels sailing to and from Ukraine’s ports,” said President Moon.

“In 2003, Russia and Ukraine signed a Treaty stating that both Russia and Ukraine have the right to free navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Strait of Kerch.  The seizure of Ukraine vessels is a provocative step which seems to be a deliberate escalation of tension in the region.

“I hope that Russia will step back from this violation of international law and respect the 2003 Treaty it signed with Ukraine regarding the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.  Otherwise, it will only increase tension and instability in the region, and further isolate itself from the international community.

“I therefore urge Russia to heed the calls for restraint and de-escalation made by NATO and the European Union,” she concluded.