Department of State urges Russia to cease blocking Black Sea
The United States Department of State calls on Russia to cease blocking foreign warships and state vessels in parts of the Black Sea.
Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Ned Price said this at a briefing on April 21, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
“We are aware that Russia has announced its intention to block foreign naval ships and state vessels in parts of the Black Sea, particularly near the Kerch Strait, through later this year, through October, citing what they claim to be Russian military exercises,” Price noted.
He recalled that Russia had a history of aggressive actions against Ukrainian vessels and impeding access to Ukraine’s ports in the Sea of Azov, impacting Ukraine’s international commerce.
“We call on Russia to cease its harassment of vessels in the region and to reverse its buildup of forces along Ukraine’s borders,” the spokesperson said.
Price noted that the situation in the Black Sea was just one of the latest examples of Russia’s ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine.
The State Department spokesman also expressed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine as a partner, as well as for its sovereignty and territorial integrity, including territorial waters.
As Ukrinform reported, on April 15, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed its resolute protest against Russia’s restrictions on freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. According to the statement, Russia announced the closure until October 2021 of part of the Black Sea in the direction of the Kerch Strait for warships and state vessels of other countries under the pretext of military exercises.
© 2021 Ukrinform News