Emine Dzheppar: Russia trying to turn Sea of Azov into ‘its own lake’
08.08.2020 14:23 – Ukrinform
Russia has militarized Crimea, increased its military presence, keeping six submarines in the Black Sea, and wants to turn the Sea of Azov into “its own lake.”
“Today, Russia wants to turn the Sea of Azov into its own lake. As far as we know, Russia now has six submarines in the Black Sea. Crimea has become Russia’s military base. All countries located around this base should be aware of Russia’s aggressive policy towards control over the region,” First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar said in an interview with the Demirören Turkish news agency.
In this context, Ukraine initiated the establishment of the Crimean platform, the official noted.
“I think that Turkey is one of the five countries most eager to join this platform. We plan to hold the Crimean Summit in Kyiv every year, where the leaders of the countries will be able to meet. The occupation of Crimea is not an internal issue. It concerns the countries of the Black Sea region and the Sea of Azov. Russia’s military strategy is aimed at the Middle East and North Africa. Russia views Crimea as a military base on this path,” the diplomat said.
First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar also reminded of successful projects of bilateral Ukraine-Turkey military cooperation, in particular, supply of communications equipment of the Aselsan Turkish company to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, modernization of Turkish armored vehicles with the help of Ukrainian active and reactive defense systems.