REUTERS

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Ukraine will not allow Russia turning the Azov Sea into its own lake.

"We are making every effort to bring our Ukrainian sailors home," the president said at a meeting with civic activists and cultural figures who initiated the appeal to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on assistance in the release of Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia near the Kerch Strait Nov 25, 2018, an UNIAN correspondent reports.

Poroshenko said the captured Ukrainian sailors take a consistent position of being beyond jurisdiction of Russian courts since they are prisoners of war.

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The president said he had not had a single meeting at the highest international level where he would fail to call on the international community and world leaders to ensure that the three Ukrainian demands to Russia were met: to immediately return the Ukrainian sailors home, return Ukrainian vessels, as well as ensure freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait and in the Azov Sea.

"We will not allow turning our Azov Sea into a Russian lake. It is very important now to state that the world is showing solidarity with Ukraine," Poroshenko said.