Stoltenberg made such a statement at a press conference ahead of the meetings of NATO ministers of foreign affairs, which is scheduled to begin in Brussels on December 4, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“Russia recently seized Ukrainian ships and sailors near the Kerch Strait. There is no justification for this use of force. We call for calm and restraint. Russia must release the Ukrainian sailors and ships. It must also allow freedom of navigation. And unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov,” Stoltenberg stressed.
Ukrainian vessels, military as well as civilian, have the right to navigate through the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, the NATO Secretary General emphasized.
He added that the NATO ministers of foreign affairs would meet on Tuesday the representatives of Georgia and Ukraine.
“They both face serious security challenges from Russia. And we will continue to give both countries practical and political support,” Stoltenberg underscored.
As reported, on November 25, Russian border ships committed the acts of aggression against three Ukrainian ships heading from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol. The Russian special forces fired and seized three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait and 24 sailors aboard.
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