The State Border Service of Ukraine said that a Russian warship, Pytlivy, is blocking the path to oil rigs in the Black Sea. This was said by the Chief of Staff of the 1st Sea Guard detachment Captain Ihor Zapyantsev at a press conference in Odessa, UNIAN reported.
According to Zapyantsev, on December 1st, when the border guards conducted a special naval operation in the exclusive (maritime) economic zone in the Odessa gas field located in the Northwestern part of the Black Sea, the Russian warship blocked the path of the Ukrainian border guard ship Grigoriy Kuropyatnikov.
According to Zapyantsev, the Pytlivy’s crew said that they had established a security zone of 3km near the jack-up rigs, which were passed into the ownership of Russia after the annexation of the Crimea in 2014. The Chief of Staff explained that the Russian side confirmed that they are defending the objects. According to him, the security zone cannot exceed 500 meters.
Zapyantsev said that the Pytlivy made a dangerous maneuver as it was crossing the course of the Ukrainian ship, which could have led to an accident.
As explained by the Head of the Staff of Sea Guard of the Southern Regional Directorate of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, Captain 1st Rank Sergey Maimula, these maneuvers were carried out in order to prevent any ship, in particular the Grigoriy Kuropyatnikov, from accessing the drill rigs.
As noted by the 1st Deputy Chief - Chief of Staff of the Southern Regional Directorate of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Major-General Victor Babyuk, during previous maritime operations, when approaching the jack-up rigs, the presence of armed men on them was clearly visible. Now the armed men are not on the deck, he added.