Poroshenko: We will not let Russia militarize Black Sea

Poroshenko: We will not let Russia militarize Black Sea

The President of Ukraine believes that the Russian Federation should explain why new S-400 air defense missile system and new anti-ship defense system are located now in Kerch and Feodosia in occupied Crimea.

“We will not let Russia decide on how Ukraine may use the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, and we will use all legal mechanisms to protect our interests,” President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with CNN Turk, the press service of the Head of State reports.

“We will never recognize the occupation of the Sea of ​​Azov by Russia. We will never recognize the occupation of the Kerch Strait. And we insist on the international law. We will use the Kerch Strait and the Sea of ​​Azov,” Poroshenko said.

The President added that Russia would not make decisions on how the sovereign and independent Ukraine may use the Sea of ​​Azov.

The President reminded of the aggression of the Russian military against the Ukrainian ships in the neutral waters of the Black Sea and the capture of Ukrainian sailors.

“Is Russia talking about provocations? These are open international waters, these are internal Ukrainian waters. There is international law and a bilateral treaty stipulating that the Kerch Strait is a common strait, which belongs both to Ukraine and Russia. It was just a planned passage from Odesa to Mariupol for rotation of those two small warships. They had no additional weapons, no additional crew members, they had nothing,” the Head of State emphasized.

Poroshenko noted that Russia could not explain why and who had made the decision to attack the Ukrainian ships. “However, it is an act of aggression. The Russian Federation bears legal responsibility for the attack on ships and 24 Ukrainian sailors, who are now held in Moscow. This case is out of jurisdiction of a Russian court. They are prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. Russia must immediately release them,” the President of Ukraine said.

He noted that the calls for the release of Ukrainian sailors had been made at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, by the European Union, NATO, G7, the USA, Canada, Japan and many others.

The President also drew attention to the security situation in the Black Sea. “It is a very important issue for all the Black Sea region countries - Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia. And only Russia is trying to destabilize the situation,” Poroshenko stated.

In this context, the Head of State expressed confidence that Russia should explain why new S-400 air defense missile system and new anti-ship defense system were located in Kerch and Feodosia. “It is totally unacceptable. We will not allow militarizing the Black Sea. In light of this, we must be ready to respond,” the President of Ukraine said.

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