MEPs condemn the actions of the Russian Federation on the detention of ships in the Azov sea and growing militarization of Russia in the region.

Illustration / REUTERS

In the European Parliament propose to the member countries and the Council of the European Union to impose new sanctions against the Russian Federation because of the situation in the Azov sea.

This was discussed during the plenary debate of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (France) which aired on the EP website.

Thus, the German MEP Rebecca harms (political group “Green – European free Alliance”) stated that the development of the situation in the Azov sea should be considered in the context of the Russian occupation of the Crimea. She said that now Russia is using the Crimea as a place for its military support.

“This is a common problem on the Eastern border”, – said harms.

“I think that the OSCE should be able to monitor the situation in the Azov sea,” she said, adding that the mission’s mandate should be expanded.

The Deputy also said that the EU should support the legal position of Ukraine, which she defended in international courts and in the OSCE.

“The European Union also needs to ensure that there was no technical or military cooperation with the Russian Federation, which may potentially enhance the operational potential of the Russian naval forces”, – said harms.

In addition, she expressed the opinion that the EU should carefully examine the projects for enhancing ports in Mariupol and Berdyansk.

“And I think that both the EU and NATO should examine whether we need to have in this region escorts, can we perhaps prevent the escalation of the conflict, and I think that the new sanctions should be on the agenda for discussion,” said harms.

At the same time, the Latvian Deputy Sandra Kalniete, who represents a political group of the European people’s party, stated that blatant violation by Russia of norms of international law are not new. She recalled that in 2014, the European Union managed to unite efforts in response to violations of the Russian Federation. At the same time, in her opinion, “continued the annexation of the sea of Azov and the partial blockade of Ukrainian ports is another serious challenge to our determination to maintain European order of peace”.

She added that the situation in the Azov sea has a direct bearing on European security and commercial interests because of the financial loss relate to the merchants out of the EU.

“But obviously, it’s much worse than commercial and legal issues. The situation in the Azov sea gradually moves to another open conflict waiting to happen,” stated Kalniete.

The Latvian Deputy noted that “until now the EU did not oppose this threat, showing weakness and lack of interest, instead of force and determination.”

Read taggaluru said that Russia will not allow NATO ships on exercise in the sea of Azov

In turn, the Polish MEP Anna Fotyga, which represents the political group “European conservatives and reformists”, said that after a visit to Mariupol and to Talakovk, saw “the seriousness of the situation in the region of the Azov sea”. She added that before the European Parliament’s draft resolution, the voting which will take place on Thursday, October 25, “accurately reflects the situation.”

“The aggressive position of the Russian Federation in the region of the Azov sea attracts our attention to one of the laws that this country has resorted to the restriction of access to the territories”, – Mrs. Fotyga.

At the same time Lithuanian MEP Petras, Austrevicius (group of the Alliance of liberals and Democrats for Europe) said that the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the sea of Azov is similar to the robbery of the Ukrainian and foreign vessels, including those sailing under flags of EU countries.

“If properly and timely not to resist, sooner or later, these hostile actions and practices are assimilated by the Kremlin as a kind of endorsement for application in other waters,” said Austrevicius.

“The only response to these flagrant violations of bilateral agreements (agreement on cooperation in the Azov sea and the Kerch Strait between Ukraine and Russia – UNIAN) and international law should be additional restrictive measures against the aggressive Kremlin,” he said.

Also the Lithuanian MEP said that the situation with the illegal construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait by Russia, the construction of which, according to him, was attended by companies from the EU, undermines the previously imposed EU sanctions and is “pathetic and unacceptable”.

Read cacheminfilesize of Azov can lead to destabilization in the Black sea – Mogherini

“We must have independent legal authority in the EU authorized to examine such cases when the EU companies, individuals or countries violate our own decisions, which are in force. Those who will be seen in violation of EU sanctions, should fall under sanctions,” he said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on 12 October, President Petro Poroshenko enacted NSDC decision “On urgent measures for the protection of national interests in the South and East of Ukraine, in the Black and Azov seas and the Kerch Strait”.

The decision of the national security Council notes that, having considered threats to national security in the South and East of Ukraine, in the Black and Azov seas and Kerch Strait, caused by the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation, the Council of national security and defense noted the presence of conditions that may cause a critical destabilization of the economic and socio-political situation, naval blockade of the coast of Ukraine.

The Cabinet is charged to create the interdepartmental coordinating body, which should summarize the legal position of the state on the question of preparation of consolidated claims of official Kiev to Russia concerning international legal responsibility of Russia for military aggression against Ukraine.

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