EU countries voice "utmost concern" over Russia-Ukraine incident

United Nations – Ukraine – Joint statement by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK¹

New York, 26 November 2018

The current and incoming members of the Security Council from the European Union express their utmost concern about the maritime incidents that took place yesterday in the Kerch Strait, involving Russian forces and Ukrainian navy ships intending to sail through the strait, and resulting in the wounding of several Ukrainian sailors. Nothing justifies the use of force by Russia.

This situation is a direct consequence of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 and the subsequent construction of the Kerch bridge. We strongly reaffirm our full recognition of the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally-recognized borders.

We call for restraint and de-escalation. Detained Ukrainian sailors should be freed without delay and captured vessels returned.

We call for the Russian Federation to restore freedom of passage at the Kerch Strait and to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea.

We will pursue all our efforts to find a peaceful and durable solution to the conflict in the east of Ukraine including Crimea and we will fully support the efforts within the Normandy format./.

¹Source of English text: Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations.

United Nations – Elements on Ukraine from the five European member states of the United Nations Security Council (France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK)

New York, 26 November 2018

The Permanent Representatives of the members from the European Union of the Security Council at informal exchanges of views, held on their request, of the members of the Security Council during their visit to Beijing, expressed grave concern about the recent escalation of tension in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait.

They reconfirmed their full recognition of the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, called on Russia to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea. They called for the Russian Federation to restore freedom of passage at the Kerch Strait and urged all to act with utmost restraint to de-escalate the situation immediately. Detained Ukrainian sailors should be freed and captured vessels returned.

They agreed furthermore that after the informal discussion in Beijing the issue should be discussed further in the Security Council in New York on 26 November./.

Published on 27/11/2018

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