Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced his country’s plans to challenge the actions of Russian border guards who are inspecting ships in transit to Ukrainian ports.
“We are now faced with the question of how we will strengthen the protection from the sea,” the presidential press-service quotes Poroshenko. “We will not tolerate the illegal capture of Ukrainian and foreign ships moving toward Ukrainian ports, including Mariupol.”
Poroshenko said that he gave the appropriate orders to the Minister of Defense, Chief of the General Staff, and Commander of the Ukrainian Naval Forces.
“We will not tolerate this,” Poroshenko declared. “If us, Ukrainians, do not protect our land, nobody will protect it.”
Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure promised to lodge a protest with the Foreign Ministry of Russia, regarding unjustified inspections of Ukrainian vessels headed to the Ukrainian ports through the Kerch Strait.
According to the current Russian-Ukrainian Treaty of 2003, the Sea of Azov is considered internal waters of both countries.
In early July, a proposal for the denunciation of the Treaty on the Azov Sea was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.