Russia must respect its international obligations in Azov Sea - Stoltenberg

Russia must respect its international obligations in Azov Sea - Stoltenberg

NATO allies are concerned about Russia's actions in the Azov Sea and urge it to fulfill its international obligations, including by not impeding the freedom of navigation in the region.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, October 24.

"We are concerned about the situation in the Azov Sea, and Russian behavior there is part of a pattern we have seen over a long time and especially in this region - with the illegal annexation of Crimea, with a new bridge, and, of course, Russian activities on destabilization, Russian support for military activities in eastern Ukraine," he said.

He recalled that he had recently discussed the situation with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin at NATO headquarters.

"I expressed my full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the freedom of navigation, and the importance for Ukraine to have open and free sea lines of communication, including in the Azov Sea. But this is, of course, also important for NATO allies, for our ships and for trade between NATO allies and Ukraine. So this is something that has been addressed. Russia must respect its international obligations, including the freedom of navigation," Stoltenberg said.


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