“Even more worrying, tougher controls on naval traffic in the [Kerch] strait have gone in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea. Russia has recently started deploying military vessels to the area in significant numbers, and Ukraine has partially responded with an increased military presence," Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said at the European Parliament plenary session on the situation in the Sea of Azov.
The diplomat stressed that militarisation of the Azov Sea is in no-one's interest. “It can only destabilise the delicate security situation in the wider Black Sea region,” Mogherini stressed.
In April, Russian security officials began to apply a new inspection regime for the vessels heading towards the Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov waters. Such actions of the aggressor are a violation of the international maritime law, aimed at undermining the economic, political and security interests of Ukraine in the region.