Fake: EU Warns Ukraine against Militarization of Azov Sea
The European Union is speaking out against Ukraineâs military buildup in the Azov Sea, declared the pro-Kremlin internet publication Ukraina.ru on October 23. The EU expressed dissatisfaction with the growing number of Ukrainian military vessels in the sea and even warned Ukraine against increasing its military presence there, the publication claimed. Other pro-Kremlin media such as RIA Novosti, RBK and TASS carried the same story, albeit with less accusatory headlines, and all of them cited Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy as the source.
Website screenshot Ukraina.ru
Website screenshot Newsfront
Website screenshot RIA Novosti
Mogherini however did not criticize Ukraine at all; on the contrary, it is Russia that she criticized.
On October 23 Mogherini delivered an address to the European Parliament on the situation in the Azov Sea in which she stated that the EU âdid not want to witness yet another military build-up in our immediate regionâ.
Russian media manipulated Mogheriniâs address; they claimed she spoke about a Ukrainian military presence in the area when in fact she spoke about the Russian fleet, which is destabilizing the region by its heavy handed tactics in the Black and Azov seas.
âThe construction of the Kerch Bridge between the Crimean peninsula and the Russian Federation took place without Ukraineâs consent, and it constitutes another violation of Ukraineâs sovereignty and territorial integrity. On top of that, the bridge hinders the passage of vessels to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Seaâ¦. A militarization of the Azov Sea is in no-oneâs interest, and it can only destabilize the delicate security situation in the wider Black Sea region. Let me remind us all that the Black Sea is a European sea, and we do not want to witness yet another military build-up in our immediate region. We will continue to push for the respect of international law and conventions, and to support Ukraine in these challenging circumstances,â Mogherini said.
Other European politicians also spoke out against Russiaâs aggressive moves in the Black and Azov seas. Member of the European Parliament from Poland Anna Fotyga spoke out against Russiaâs restrictions on the movement of ships in other regions, particularly the Baltic Sea and urged NATO to continue its support of Ukraine.
NATO responded to the EUâs call, during his October 24 press conference NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg NATO Secretary said that the Alliance condemned Russiaâs militarization of the Azov waters and âexpre sses full support for Ukraineâs sovereignty and territorial integrity, including freedom of navigationâ.
A day after the NATO statement the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the strengthening of sanctions against Russia because of its destabilizing actions in the Azov Sea. The EU also called for expanding the scope of the OSCE mission in Ukraine in the field of maritime transport.
Contrary to Russian media claims, there were no warnings or accusations of militarizing the seas towards Ukraine issued by the European Union.
Meanwhile Ukraine continues to incur losses from Russiaâs blockade of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. In a Radio Liberty interview, Ukraineâs Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said Ukraineâs ports have suffered more than a billion hryvnia in losses. Since Russian aggression against Ukraine began in 2014 the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk have lost nearly half their cargo traffic. Furthermore, Russiaâs security service the FSB has made it a rule to stop and inspect all ships heading to Ukraine, forcing ship-owners to lose some 15-50 thousand dollars daily, Omelyan said.Source: Google News Ukraine | Netizen 24 Ukraine