Stoltenberg said this at a press conference following a meeting with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in Brussels on Thursday, December 13.
“We remain concerned about a great tension in and around the Sea of Azov. There can be no excuses for Russia's use of military force against Ukrainian vessels and sailors. Russia must immediately release the captured sailors and vessels, as well as ensure freedom of navigation, including free access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov,” the NATO secretary general stressed.
NATO strongly condemns Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, does not recognize and will not recognize it in the future. Russia's construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait is another violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Stoltenberg stressed.
He noted that Russia's recent aggressive actions in the Kerch Strait demonstrated its destabilizing behavior.
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