Published on: Oct 26, 2018 @ 12:00 – NATO is working on both the EU and Ukraine to set the framework for some limitation of Russia’s effective control of the encircled sea, with the ultimate aim of entering the Sea of Azov. Russia has reconfirmed earlier in the week that the Sea of Azov is ‘off limits’ to NATO and the U.S, for any purposes including drills and exercises.
According to Ivan Abazher, representative of the Crimean region in the Public Chamber of Russia, as well as serving in other similar roles, “Western forces are interested in increasing tensions around the Sea of Azov in order to bring in NATO warships”.
As previously reported, the European Parliament approved a resolution calling on the executive authorities of the EU to provide for increased sanctions against the Russian Federation based upon the building of the Crimean bridge and the accusation – not unreasonable – that Russia now controls the Sea of Azov. The resolution also appears to be aimed at thwarting an “escalation” of the situation in the Sea of Azov, or conversely, will be used punitively in the event that such an escalation is documented, or, finally, in the event that such escalation has already been discovered.
Also, the leadership of the European Union was requested to consider the creation of the post of “special envoy for the Crimea and Donbass.”
Ivan Abazher gave his comments to RIA Novosti.
“Such resolutions are a product of the Russophobic policy, when Russia is accused of all imaginable and inconceivable ills. We must clearly understand that the escalation of tension in relation to Russia will only increase, because our internal successes do not give them peace. They need any reason to introduce NATO ships into the waters of the Sea of Azov, ”
Abazher is convinced that Russia does not need to adjust its security policy in the Sea of Azov to the opportunistic interests of other countries.
On October 19th, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned what he saw as a creeping attempt by NATO to use Ukraine as a work-around, to undermine the nature of the standing treaty between Russia and Ukraine regarding access to the Sea of Azov. Russia says it will block any attempt by Ukraine to host military drills in the Sea of Azov, a strategic waterway where Kiev could soon be operating two newly acquired American warships.
Lavrov said a bilateral treaty with Ukraine prohibits military drills in the area around Azov without a green light from Moscow.
“Now Ukraine wants to hold NATO drills in the Sea of Azov but it will be impossible to go there because our treaty with Ukraine requires mutual consent for the passage of warships into the Sea of Azov,” Lavrov told French media on Thursday. “But they want this and they are being actively goaded into this.”