EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said this at a press conference in Brussels on Monday, December 10, following a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
"We, together with the Member States are looking into concrete additional support measures to assist the regions that are most affected by the limitation of cargo traffic near the Azov Sea," she said.
According to Mogherini, together with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn they discussed further projects we the EU can finance and support to help the region.
She also recalled that last week she met in Milan with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to whom she expressed a common clear position of 28 member countries regarding the incident near the Kerch Strait.
"I would stress particularly the expectation that the crew is freed without any delay - and for Russia to ensure the unhindered and free passage through the Kerch Strait to and from the Azov Sea, in accordance with international law," she said.
While commenting on possible sanctions against Russia due to its aggression in the Kerch Strait, the EU diplomat said that "the European Union sanctions are always based on sound legal bases."
"The process that we follow is based on information shared by Member States, an assessment that goes through a very severe legal screening and then a consensus on a political level. This was the process that was done for the additional sanctions we have adopted today [due to 'elections' in occupies areas of Donbas]," Mogherini said.
She said that the participation of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin in a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council is "a political gesture from our side."
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