The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, said that Ukraine plans to carry out a new passage of ships through the Kerch Strait with the involvement of international partners.
“This is, for us, fundamental. If we stop and retreat, Russia will actually fulfill its task of seizing the Sea of Azov, presenting to the world certain new sea borders in the Black Sea, de facto legalizing the occupation of the Crimea,” he said in an interview with BBC Ukraine.
The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council stressed that this issue should not be delayed.
“We also offer our partners to take part in this passage from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports to the Ukrainian ports on the Azov coast,” added Turchinov.
According to him, Ukraine intends to invite representatives of the OSCE and other international organizations, including NATO, to take part in this passage.
“It would be very logical. That the NATO ships invited by us to the ports of the Sea of Azov prove that Russia must reckon with international law. So far, our initiative has not received a response. But I hope that during the next passage of the Ukrainian warships through the Kerch Strait, they at least send their observers to us,” said Turchinov.
He also commented on the likelihood of Russia detaining representatives of NATO and the OSCE.
“When the attention of the leading countries of the world will be riveted on this issue, Russia will hold its tail and will not risk acting aggressively. But if we leave the situation that is unfolding around the Kerch Strait to the mercy of fate, if our sailors are not immediately released from captivity, then the civilized world will in fact recognize that Russia has the right to any aggression, to any changes in borders and will not be held responsible! ”, said Turchinov.