REUTERS

The United States Mission to the OSCE has called on Russia to cease the blocking of the Kerch Strait.

"We call on Russia to refrain from any further escalatory actions and immediately take the necessary steps to de-escalate tensions in the region, including by rescinding its actions to block certain vessels in parts of the Black Sea, by recommitting to a ceasefire in the Donbas, and by ceasing all its destabilizing activity in Ukraine,"  chief of Mission, Courtney Austrian, told the Permanent Council in Vienna April 29.

Read alsoRussia closing off Black Sea areas near occupied Crimea for foreign warshipsRussia closing parts of Black Sea for navigation

  • The Russian Federation banned navigation of foreign warships and other vessels in parts of the Black Sea leading toward the Kerch Strait from late April to October 2021
  • The Kremlin claimed the move was due to military exercises.
  • MFA Ukraine said the move by Russia is a gross violation of the right to free navigation and yet another attempt to usurp Ukraine's sovereign rights as a littoral state.
  • The Ministry has expressed protest in this regard and called on international partners to exert political and diplomatic pressure on the aggressor state.