On the developments concerning Russian aggression towards Ukrainian vessels in the Kirch Strait, off the Crimean peninsula, Rebecca Harms, Member of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"It has long been apparent that Russia's naval policy in the Sea of Azov could lead to military escalation. The EU and the international community must urgently take measures to defuse this highly dangerous situation and pressure the Kremlin to release all Ukrainian personnel and return the captured Ukrainian ships. The NATO-Russia Council should meet immediately to discuss the best way to deescalate the situation.
"The blockade of Ukrainian ports and the militarization of the Black Sea region by Russia is directed against the interests and security of the entire Black Sea region. The mandate of the OSCE observer mission should also be extended to the Sea of Azov. The EU and the Member States must be prepared to react to the breach of international law with targeted, tough sanctions and to support and protect Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity, including in the Sea of Azov."