CRIMEA, Russia – Without Russia’s permission, the passage of NATO ships across the Kerch Strait to the Sea of Azov is excluded, Crimean authorities say.
Such an assertion was made by Deputy Prime Minister of the Crimean regional government, Permanent Representative of Crimea to the presidency of Russia, Georgy Muradov.
“According to the Russian-Ukrainian agreement of 2003, military vessels from foreign countries can only enter the sea area of Azov with the consent of both parties, Russia and Ukraine,” said the politician.
At the same time, he considered the entry of foreign warships into the Azov Sea unacceptable, underlining that Moscow will not give such approval.
Plans of Kiev to ‘advance’ to the Sea of Azov
The deputy prime minister also expressed the view that the November provocation in the Kerch Strait was organized by the Ukrainian authorities to invite to the region ships of their western allies interested in destabilizing the situation in the Russian borders.
Earlier, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov, stated that Kiev plans a new passage of warships across the Kerch Strait. At the same time, the Ukrainian lieutenant-general Igor Romanenko stated that “monitoring from space” with the help of Western allies could help Kiev to move to the sea of Azov.
He believes that in this case, Russia would be “in a very difficult position”, while for Ukraine it is “an option where there is nothing to lose”.
Provocation in the Kerch Strait
On November 25, three Ukrainian navy ships violated Russia’s borders. They carried out dangerous maneuvers for several hours without meeting the demands of the Russian authorities. As a result, all ships were detained and the seamen arrested.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident in the Kerch Strait as provocation encouraged by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. In particular, the Russian leader indicated that everything was arranged to introduce martial law in Ukraine and thus postpone the presidential elections.