EU, NATO call for de-escalation of Russia-Ukraine tensions in Sea of Azov

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-26 22:58:23|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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KIEV, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have called for a de-escalation of the tensions between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov.

Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU, urged all to act with "utmost restraint" to de-escalate the situation immediately.

"The events in the Sea of Azov are a demonstration of how instability and tensions are bound to rise when the basic rules of international cooperation are disregarded," Kocijancic said in a statement.

According to Interfax-Ukraine news agency, member of the European Parliament Rebecca Harms said that the parliament is discussing the possibility of imposing new sanctions on Russia.

NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said that the alliance is closely monitoring developments in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

"We call for restraint and de-escalation," Lungescu tweeted.

She called on Russia to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced that the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting over the escalated tensions in the Sea of Azov.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian Navy said that Russian forces opened fire and seized three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait, which separates the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, injuring six Ukrainian military sailors.

Russia's Federal Security Service said that the Ukrainian ships breached the Russian border, and conducted dangerous maneuvers in spite of Russia's orders.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been deteriorating since Crimea was incorporated into Russia in March 2014 following a local referendum that was rejected by Kiev and Western countries.