The Annexation Of The Sea of Azov
USA: even partial blocking of the ports of the Sea of Azov is unacceptable
Earlier, Ukraine announced the restoration of ship traffic and partial unblocking of ports
Ukraine announced the resumption of the movement of ships through the ports of the Azov Sea after the confrontation with Russia.
Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan said that there is a movement of merchant ships through the Kerch Strait, linking the Azov and Black seas.
Omelyan, who last week accused Russia of blocking the strait for Ukrainian cargo, said on Tuesday that the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol were “partially unblocked” thanks to “a tough international response.” Minister expressed hope that the ports will be fully unblocked in the coming days.
However, the United States on Tuesday said that “even partial blocking” of ports is “unacceptable”, both under international law and under the agreements between Russia and Ukraine on the use of the strait..
“We don’t see it as a success,” a senior State Department official who was accompanying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Brussels for a NATO ministerial meeting told reporters..
“As far as NATO members are concerned, no one sees this as a satisfactory measure or the end of the matter,” he added..
Russia, however, insisted that it never blocked the movement of ships through the Kerch Strait, saying that any possible disruptions were due to bad weather..
Relations between the two neighboring countries have strained in connection with the incident on November 25, during which the Russian coast guard fired on and captured three Ukrainian warships and their crew members.
As a State Department spokesman told reporters on Tuesday, the United States is working with its allies to discuss possible implications for Moscow..
“We are completely consistent in our fears and rhetoric. We are currently assessing how to ensure the release of crews and ships. In this regard, there are various options, “- said the source, without going into details..
According to him, during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on security in the Black Sea, the United States stressed that “it condemns the Russian act of aggression, considers Crimea to be part of Ukraine, and Russia’s actions in the Kerch Strait are a clear military escalation and violation of international law and freedom of navigation. “.
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