Full support of Ukraine: World reacts to Russia's attack near Kerch Strait
Countries across the world and various politicians have reacted to Russia's attack on Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov and called on Russia to stop violating international law.
"Today's dramatic escalation of tension in the Azov Sea waters, which resulted in injured sailors and damaged vessels of the Ukrainian navy is a result of Russian Federation's consistent breach of basic international law principles, including the violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland said in a statement.
"After the illegal occupation of Crimea, flare-up of the conflict in Donbas, construction of the Kerch bridge without consent of the authorities in Kyiv, Russia breached the principle of freedom of navigation. We strongly condemn Russia's aggressive actions and call on its authorities to respect international law. We urge both sides to show restraint in the current situation, which may pose a threat to the stability of European security," the ministry said.
"Canada condemns Russian aggression towards Ukraine in the KerchStrait. We call on Russia to immediately de-escalate, release the captured vessels, and allow for freedom of passage. Canada is unwavering in its support for Ukraine's sovereignty," Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland wrote on Twitter on November 26, 2018.
"NATO is closely monitoring developments in the AzovSea and KerchStrait, and we are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities. We call for restraint and de-escalation," NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu wrote on Twitter, posting the relevant statement.
"Deeply concerned about the developments in AzovSea and KerchStrait. Aggression and violation of international law undermine the security of the whole region. Romania fully supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and its rights to use its territorial waters," the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on Twitter.
"Estonia condemns Russia's attack against Ukrainian vessels in AzovSea, KerchStrait and calls on immediate release of the ships. These actions violate both international law and Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, a conscious act to escalate tension," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia tweeted.
Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, released a statement condemning Russia for the seizure of three Ukrainian naval ships off the coast of Crimea after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors.
"Russia's blatant violation of international law in the Sea of Azov and their provocative attack against Ukraine's sovereignty are totally unacceptable. Russia must immediately restore the freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait to allow Ukrainian vessels to freely use Ukrainian ports," he said.
"Russia's continued, illegal occupation of Crimea, and their ongoing attempts to destabilize Eastern Europe, directly threaten our national security interests. We cannot ignore Russia's aggression against Ukraine. I urge the President and the Administration to fully hold Vladimir Putin accountable at next week's G-20 summit. We must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Ukraine," Fitzpatrick said.
"Yes, sadly. This escalation is proof that Russia does not seem to be interested in any kind of outcome from the Ukraine negotiation process," Chairman of the German Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs Norbert Röttgen wrote on Twitter.
Moscow must ensure access to the Sea of Azov, German Europe Minister Michael Roth said on Monday.
"It has committed itself to that (access)," Roth told broadcaster Deutschlandfunk in an interview, as reported by Reuters.
He added that both Russia and Ukraine must de-escalate.
"Dangerous incidents today in the Sea of Azov due to aggressive Russian actions. Russia must restore free passage at the Kerch Strait. Important to de-escalate the situation now," Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen wrote on Twitter.