Ukraine is working to ensure that other countries, whose vessels Russian border guards detained in the Sea of Azov, joined the lawsuit against Russia, said the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin in a commentary to the Current Time television channel on September 14 during the 15th annual meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in Kyiv.
"What we are currently doing in the framework of our legal suits, as part of the consolidation of our partners, is collectively act within the framework of the Convention on the Law of the Sea and to say that not only Ukrainian vessels, but vessels under other flags, belonging to other countries were detained. We have already begun to talk with Russia about this, "said Klimkin.
According to Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russia deliberately tries to stop ship traffic in the Azov Sea. Klimkin called it "elements of the blockade."
"They are implementing this as a purposeful, very conscious strategy that acts in a political sense, in order to raise stakes and increase emotional pressure, and, of course, influence the security sphere," added Pavlo Klimkin.
Earlier reports stated that the Armed Forces of Ukraine had strengthened their military presence in the Azov direction.
On September 6, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine decided to strengthen the naval presence in the Azov Sea.
In mid-May, after the completion of the automobile part construction of the Kerch Bridge, Russia reportedly relocated sea vessels, including the military ships of the Caspian flotilla to the Azov Sea. At the same time, Moscow referred to the need to strengthen security around the strategic facility [ the Kerch Bridge].
Since then, Russia has detained more than 148 Ukrainian and foreign merchant ships and interrogated crew members and other people who were on those vessels.