Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has said the Russian Federation continues its creeping offensive not only in the Azov Sea, but also in the Black Sea.
"Unfortunately, Russia continues its creeping offensive not only in the Azov Sea, but also in the Black Sea: when every day they close a huge territory of the sea coast under the pretext of conducting drills, under the pretext of testing weapons and equipment. And this happens in order to maximally obstruct the movement of merchant ships. And not only Ukrainian ones. Because, you understand, when they bypass the training area, the cost of the products they transport is much higher. Therefore, such a situation, which they create in the Azov Sea, is now being extended to the Black Sea," he said in an interview to Pryamiy TV Channel.
"The Armed Forces of Ukraine continue performing tasks in the Sea of Azov. They are patrolling our waters. We react to existing threats. Unfortunately, they exist. The provocation that Russia wanted to use to aggravate the situation both in Ukraine and on the border, and, perhaps, to use this provocation for open aggression in Ukraine – it failed. And they understand this. Because our sailors acted with confidence, they did not violate any regulation, any law and did not give grounds for the Russian Federation to start that aggression," the minister said.
Poltorak assured the situation was still controllable.