European Parliament to address situation in Sea of Azov
The European Parliament plans to consider the situation in the Sea of Azov at its plenary meeting on October 23.
"The European Parliament plenary is set to debate the situation in the Sea of Azov on October 23," Brussels reporter for Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty Rikard Jozwiak wrote on Twitter on October 4.
"Not clear at this stage whether there will be a resolution voted on as well," he said.
The Sea of Azov, a strategic arm of the Black Sea where Russia and Ukraine share the coastline, has become a flashpoint this year. Ukraine says Russia is preventing scores of vessels from reaching Ukrainian ports, namely Berdyansk and Mariupol, through spurious inspections and detentions.
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said that Ukraine was holding talks with EU countries and the United States over introducing sanctions against Russia in response to the blockade of the Sea of Azov.
Washington has called on Russia to stop "harassing" ships, and supplied Ukraine with U.S. patrol boats.
What is happening in the Sea of Azov today is described by experts as the creeping annexation of Azov.
On September 23, two Ukrainian ships – the Donbass search and rescue ship (A500) and the Korets tugboat (A830) – entered the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait and passed under the Crimean Bridge, being accompanied by two Ukrainian armored boats. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomed the arrival of the ships at the Sea of Azov and noted that they would become part of the newly created naval base of the Ukrainian fleet in the Sea of Azov.