UWC welcomes European Parliament’s Resolution on the situation in the Sea of Azov
The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) welcomes the Resolution on the situation in the Sea of Azov adopted by the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 October 2018. The Resolution defines the Russian aggressive maneuvers targeting Ukrainian and foreign commercial traffic in the Sea of Azov as a de facto blockade.
First, European lawmakers condemned the disruptive acts by the Russian Federation that include arbitrary inspections of Ukrainian and foreign vessels passing through the Kerch Strait toward the Ukrainian ports at the Sea of Azov. The European Parliament stressed that such behavior by the Russian Federation is in violation of international maritime law and its international legal obligations, and called on it to end this discriminatory practice.
Second, the European Parliament reaffirmed its solid support for the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including its sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula and its part of the Sea of Azov. The parliamentarians condemned the illegal construction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait, which compromised Ukraine’s navigational rights in the region. In connection, the European Parliament welcomed the European Council’s earlier decision of 31 July 2018 to impose restrictive measures on six Russian companies that participated in the construction of the Kerch bridge, and regretted the involvement of certain European companies in the construction of that bridge in circumvention of the current sanctions regime.
Third, the Resolution urged Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Member States of the European Union (EU) to make an explicit statement to the effect that the targeted measures against the Russian Federation will be reinforced in the case of further escalation in the Sea of Azov.
Fourth, due to the worsening security situation around the Sea of Azov, the European Parliament called on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to appoint an EU Special Envoy for Crimea and the Donbas region, whose jurisdiction would also include the Sea of Azov. In that context, the European Parliament endorsed the lawsuits and diplomatic measures undertaken by the Ukrainian side in the framework of international law with the aim of countering Russian hostile actions.
“The Ukrainian World Congress welcomes the European Parliament’s Resolution on the situation in the Sea of Azov and calls upon the European Union to use all available means, including strengthened sanctions, to restrain Russian aggression against Ukraіne,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.