Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament calls on NATO to increase its presence in the Black and Azov Seas

During a meeting with Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Andriy Parubiy called on NATO member countries to increase the presence of NATO'S  ships and aircraft in the Black and Azov Seas. The Ukrainian politician said this was the only guarantee of security.

After the meeting between Stoltenberg and Parubiy, NATO published a statement in which it again condemned the Kremlin’s actions. “There is no justification for Russia’s use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel. We call on Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors and ships it seized, without delay,” the statement reads.

Earlier, during his visit to Brussels, Andriy Parubiy urged the EU to increase sanctions against Russia and to extend them for a period of one year. On November 26, the Verkhovna Rada called on international organizations and other nations to strengthen sanctions against Russia.  272 Deputies voted in favor of the decision where only 226 votes were required to pass it.

Deputies appealed to the UN Security Council, the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development and other states to do this.

Earlier, the Verkhovna Rada approved the decree of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on the introduction of martial law for 30 days in 10 border regions.

On November 26, Russian border guards attacked and captured two artillery boats and one tugboat belonging to the Ukrainian Navy. All three ships were damaged the Russians opened fire on them. Six Ukrainian sailors were injured, and Russia is now detaining a total of 23 Ukrainian servicemen.

Before this, a Russian ship rammed into the Yany Kapu tugboat, which was heading from Odessa to Mariupol, accompanied by the Berdyansk and Nikopol armored boats. The ramming caused damaged to the tugboat’s primary motor, its handrail, and the loss of a life raft.

The Ukrainian Naval Command emphasized that it informed the Russians in advance of its intention to transfer the boats, in keeping with international maritime traffic safety laws. The Russian FSB, on the other hand, claimed that it did not receive any notifications, and described its aggression as “protecting the state border”.

The agreement between Russia and Ukraine on the use of the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait has not been denounced. It gives ships of both countries the right to move freely in these internal waters.  

On November 26th, after the armed attack of Russian border guards on the Ukrainian military in the Kerch Strait, the Verkhovna Rada approved the decree of President Petro Poroshenko to enact Martial law in 10 regions of Ukraine.

  Ukraine, Parubiy, NATO, Stoltenberg, Russia

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