Ukraine is preparing for another war provocation in the Kerch Strait area in an attempt to instigate miliary tensions in the region.
On December 19th, Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukrainian Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council said that the Ukrainian Navy is planning to send ships to pass through the Kerch Strait, with officials from the OSCE and other international organizations on board.
“We are systematically working on strengthening the coastal defense of the Black and Azov seas. To this end, new and upgraded missile systems will be involved. This will allow us not only to effectively counteract any landing operations but also to destroy any ship threatening our country at a 300 km distance even when it is located at the home port, – he pointed out. – We must prove to the whole world that Ukraine has not lost its positions in the Sea of Azov and that this is a sea where international law is in force, and both Ukrainian and foreign ships can stay there,” Turchynov said in an interview with BBC Ukraine.
Furthermore, he claimed that the Ukrainian warships would continue to pass through the Kerch Strait.
“This is a matter of principle for us. If we stop and yield, Russia will actually fulfill its task of seizing the Sea of Azov and present new self-defined sea borders in the Black Sea to the world, de facto legalizing the occupation of the Crimea.”
He also said that international representatives from the OSCE and other organizations had been invited to take part in the passage from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports to the Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov coast.
“We will invite representatives of the OSCE and other international organizations to visit our ships in order to prove to the whole world that Ukraine and its sailors do not violate any laws and international rules. We have no alternative to such actions.”
When Turchynov was asked what would happen if Russia would for some reason detain the international representatives from the OSCE and possibly NATO, Turchynov claimed that Russia would be wary of the international community’s focus on this issue and not “risk acting aggressively.”
But, “if the Kerch Strait incident is left unattended, if the Ukrainian sailors are not immediately released, then the civilized world will in fact recognize that Russia has the right to any aggression, to any changes in borders it wishes, and will not bear responsibility for any of it!”
Then he continued by saying:
“Let’s be honest; the Russian Federation was condemned not punished. After such an act of aggression, the sanctions against Russia should be strengthened significantly, and appropriate measures should be taken against the Russian fleet around the world, otherwise the consequences would be more bloody and dangerous, not only for Ukraine, but for other countries.”
He was also asked regarding the imposition of martial law. Turchynov said that when the Ukrainian ships were seized and there were injuries, that was unwarranted aggression and that required a response.
Russia has maintained that it does not wish for and will not initiate a military escalation with Ukraine and there is no evidence to back-up any of the Kiev government’s claims of the allegedly Russian preparations for a full-scale invasion. However, Moscow will be forced to respond if the Kiev government stage another provocation near the Kerch Strait. There are no doubts that the Kiev government understands this well and is intentionally working to escalate the situation in the region.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, Moscow, December 17, 2018
- Russia-Ukraine Maritime Incident In Black Sea. Chain Of Events And International Reaction