North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief says Bosnia set for new move on membership path

05 December, 2018, 02:49 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Russia massing troops, weapons at Ukraine border – Kiev

A statement Tuesday attributed to Ukraine Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said the Berdyansk and Mariupol ports have been partially unblocked, adding that ships are coming and going through the Kerch Strait towards Ukrainian ports. Azov Sea ports have seen their cargo turnover drop by about half in recent years because of additional lengthy inspections and restrictions stemming from the new bridge, it said.

The Ukrainian Navy said that it had informed Russia in advance of the passage, while Russia said it had received no such report and the ships ignored multiple warnings by the Russian border guards.

Omelyan, who accused Russian Federation last week of blocking the Strait for Ukrainian cargoes, said Tuesday that the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol have been "partially unblocked" thanks to a "stern global response".

Ukraine says Russian Federation had blocked traffic around the Kerch Strait, but Russian Federation says the passage has been operating as usual, except for weather-related delays.

Asked what action North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could take, Stoltenberg said: "We provide strong political but also strong practical support to Ukraine".

Speaking ahead of the meetings of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation foreign affairs ministers in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday, Stoltenberg said there was "no justification for this use of force" but also called for "calm and restraint".

During the naval clash a week ago, Russian coast guard vessels fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval boats and their 24 crew members.

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Russian Federation charged that the three Ukrainian navy ships sailed into its territorial waters in the Kerch Strait Nov. 27. Misunderstandings include: referencing the worldwide law of the sea in connection with the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait, terming the Kerch Strait an global waterway, or proposing Western naval expeditions into the Azov Sea.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood has more.

The U.S. and its allies have condemned what they described as unjustified use of force by Russian Federation and urged it to release the ships and their crews.

He also called on Germany and its allies to boost their naval presence in the Black Sea to deter futher Russian aggression.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tweeted Friday that restrictions on Russian nationals were taken in order to prevent the formation of "private armies which in reality are representatives of Russian armed forces".

Juergen Hardt, foreign policy spokesman for Merkel's conservatives in parliament, also raised questions about Nord Stream 2 and said further sanctions against Russian Federation would have to be considered unless diplomatic efforts bore fruit.

In any case, Russian Federation remains defiant. Russia's brinkmanship in the Sea of Azov could also presage a more aggressive pursuit by Moscow of its strategic interests across the entire Black Sea region, and has profound implications for both regional and global security.

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