Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Vladimir Omelyan has called for sanctions against Russian ports on the Black Sea, Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform said.
“The latest statements by the US State Department, the European Parliament and the European Commission are not casual, they are the result of the work of the Ukrainian authorities, of having brought true information to our partners in the anti-Russian coalition and we suggest the introduction of sanctions against Russian Black Sea ports,” said the Ukrainian minister.
Earlier, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the European Union authorities to consider strengthening sanctions against Russia in the event of a “scaling-up” of the situation in the Azov Sea. In addition, the MEPs proposed to the executive bodies of the Union the creation of the post of “Special Envoy for Crimea and Donbass.”
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commented on the European resolution, stating that the Azov Sea theme is yet another Western propaganda letter.
Since the beginning of this year there have been recorded naval incidents between the two countries in the Azov Sea area. In March, Ukraine detained the Russian fishing vessel Nord, accusing the captain of illegally visiting Crimea “to harm the interests of the State.” In August, the Ukrainian Coast Guard detained the tanker Mekhanik Pogodin with crew on board.
Moscow calls the actions of Kiev “maritime terrorism”, reinforcing customs inspections on its part of the Sea of Azov. So the Ukrainian side accused Russia of “pursuing a tough policy of stopping and inspecting ships”.
In early September, Ukrainian officials announced plans to establish a naval base off the coast of the Sea of Azov and to transfer two armored boats to the area. In addition, the Security and National Defense Council of Ukraine ordered the reinforcement of the military presence in the Ukrainian sector of the Sea of Azov, equipping the Coast Guard detachments with missiles.