On 12 December 2018, European Parliament in the resolution on the implementation of the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine expressed serious concern regarding Russia’s attempt to transform the Sea of Azov into a Russian ‘internal lake’ and exclusive military zone.
Besides, the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) also “demand that Russia guarantee freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait and in the Sea of Azov, which is ensured by international law”, stated in resolution
European Parliament calls on the EU and its Member States to close access to EU ports for Russian ships coming from the Sea of Azov should Russia not re-establish freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait and in the Sea of Azov
In the document, the European Parliament “strongly condemns the deliberate act of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine on 25 November 2018 in the Kerch Strait; demands the immediate and unconditional release of all Ukrainian vessels and sailors and “underlines that there is no justification for such use of military might by Russia”.
Moreover, the European Parliament “calls on the EU and its Member States to introduce targeted sanctions if the Ukrainian servicemen are not released and if there is any further military escalation”
However, MEPs “call for all diplomatic means to be used to de-escalate the situation and welcomes the offer to mediate between Kiev and Moscow;
In the resolution, the EP “urges the OSCE and its Members to extend the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to the Sea of Azov”.
433 MEPs voted in favor of the resolution, 105 – against.
European Parliament resolution of 12 December 2018 on the implementation of the EU
Association Agreement with Ukraine