An official representative of the Alliance said this in a commentary to an Ukrinform correspondent.
The NATO representative called for restraint and confirmed NATO’s unwavering support for Ukraine.
“The escalation will serve nobody's interests. During a meeting with President Poroshenko last week, NATO Secretary General commended the calm and restraint that Ukraine had demonstrated during the developments around the Sea of Azov,” the Alliance official said.
At the same time, the NATO representative reiterated his concern about the growing tensions in and around the Sea of Azov. NATO remains vigilant and continues to closely follow the situation in the region. He reminded that the Alliance had significantly increased its presence in the Black Sea since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and would continue to assess the degree of its presence in the region.
“Russia must release the captured Ukrainian sailors and ships without delay. We also call on Russia to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports and freedom of navigation,” the Alliance official said.
As reported, Ukraine invited NATO to accompany its warships in the Sea of Azov.
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