President Petro Poroshenko is convinced that the European Union will continue sanctions against the Russian Federation in connection with the act of aggression that took place in the neutral waters of the Black Sea, the continuation of its non-fulfillment of the Minsk agreements, the holding of illegal elections in the occupied part of the territory of Ukraine with complete disregard for international law and for the aggression against our state. It was stated by Petro Poroshenko in Brussels during a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The Head of State reminded that he had already handed over the lists of persons and ships of Russia involved in the act of aggression to President of the European Council Donald Tusk. “As regards to the specific sanctions – yesterday we handed over to President Tusk, to the European Council, to the European Commission, and today I handed over these data to the Secretary General on the surnames of the Russian military, FSB officers involved in the pirate campaign, in aggression against Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea,” he said. “These were FSB officers, prosecutors, investigators and judges who tried to demonstrate and imprison Ukrainian warriors,” the President added.
“I emphasize again that they are prisoners of war. Russia has no jurisdiction over 24 Ukrainian soldiers. This is confirmed by the Geneva Convention,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
According to him, Russia continues to ignore the fact that it is an aggressor in relation to Ukraine, in relation to the illegal annexation of Crimea, illegal aggression against our state in the east, act of aggression in the neutral waters of the Black Sea.
The President stressed that the European institutions were currently conducting specific discussions on the issue of sanctions against Russia: “Yesterday, we had very successful talks with representatives of the European Council headed by Donald Tusk and we are firmly convinced that sanctions against the Russian Federation will be continued today,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in turn, stressed that during the talks with the President of Ukraine a thorough discussion was held on the assistance to Ukraine and the aggressive actions of Russia in the Black Sea. “We are very concerned about the increased tension in the Sea of Azov and adjacent waters. There is no justification to the Russian attack on Ukrainian ships and seamen,” he said.
“We urge Russia to immediately release all seamen and ships, and to provide freedom of navigation, including free access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov. We strictly condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. We do not and will not recognize it. The construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge is another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Jens Stoltenberg said.
The Secretary General of the Alliance thanked the President of Ukraine for the position of Ukraine and the actions of Ukrainian military in the framework of international law during the attack by Russian troops on Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait. “Mr. Poroshenko, I appreciate the strength and calm demonstrated by Ukraine during the developments near the Sea of Azov. Escalation will be in no one’s interests now,” he said.