On Monday, December 3, the Estonian Parliament adopted a declaration to support Ukraine after Russia’s direct aggression in the Kerch Strait. As reported on the website of the Estonian Parliament, 79 deputies voted in favor of “In support of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine due to aggression in the Kerch Strait.”
In the adopted declaration, the Estonian Parliament expressed its support for Ukraine and the country's right to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Parliament condemned Russia’s attack on Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait and the subsequent capture and arrest of Ukrainian sailors.
Parliament stressed that Russia should immediately release the Ukrainian ships together with their crews and let them freely enter Ukrainian ports. Parliament also called for the restoration of free movement of ships in the Kerch Strait and the Azov Sea.
Estonian deputies also called on all countries to support Ukraine in the protection of its territorial integrity and to support the Estonian Parliament’s appeal to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine’s sovereignty and not to recognize the illegal annexation of the Crimea.
On the morning of November 25, Ukraine informed the Russian port of its intention to transfer three ships through the Kerch Strait, as required by the Agreement on the joint use of the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait. However, at around 8:00 a.m., Russian ships carried out acts of provocation against the Ukrainian vessels, even ramming into the Yany Kapu tugboat.
Russia later accused the Ukrainian ships of illegally entering its territorial waters, claiming that they were “maneuvering dangerously” and “not complying with the legitimate demands of the Russian authorities”. Russia also physically blocked the Kerch Strait with a transport ship. The Ukrainian ships decided to return to Odessa, but they were chased and subsequently attacked by the Russian military. The Berdiansk and Nikopol boats were hit, and two crew members were wounded. All three of the ships were seized by Russia.
On November 28, the Kremlin-controlled court of Simferopol placed the Ukrainian sailors under 2 months of arrest – until January 25, 2019.