“The war is not limited to our borders now. No other state since World War II and the Nazi aggression at sea has posed such a threat to free navigation as Russia has already posed,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said in his address to the Storting, the Parliament of Norway.
The President noted that the Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov had been blocked by Russia since the first day of their invasion.
“About a hundred ships cannot enter the Mediterranean Sea. Some ships were simply hijacked – this is piracy for theft of cargo. Several ships were fired at,” he said.
Russians blocked the ports by their Navy and by planting mines, Zelensky underscored.
“And now the mines planted by Russian forces are drifting at sea. And this is a danger for anyone: for any ships and ports of any country in the Black Sea region. One of these mines was recently cleared in time in the Bosphorus. Another - near the Bulgarian border. Another - near the coast of Romania. I don't even want to imagine what will happen if some of these mines are not cleared in time,” the President of Ukraine said.
The President stressed that such mines could damage ferries or passenger liners, merchant ships or tankers, the explosion of which could lead not only to human casualties, but also to a large-scale environmental disaster.
“And then Russia will say again, as always, that it is not them. As it has said many times when killing critics of the Russian government in Europe or even shooting down the Malaysian Boeing in the sky over Donbas,” the Head of State added.
As reported, Turkey's minehunter vessels and maritime patrol aircraft were put on increased combat alert.
On March 28, the Ministry of Defense of Romania tried to defuse a mine found about 70 km offshore in the Black Sea.
Russia mined the recommended sea routes from the Bosphorus to Odesa, saying those were Ukrainian mines. Ukraine insists on bringing Russia to international responsibility for the use of sea mines as indiscriminate weapons which spread uncontrollably in the Black Sea.
The diplomats said that Russia was using mines seized by the Russian armed forces in 2014 during the military invasion and temporary occupation of the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol.
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