Germany considers Russia’s claims to the Sea of Azov inappropriate, Chancellor Angela Merkel told Bundestag deputies on Wednesday. She stated that Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian Navy ships in the Kerch Strait was “a cause for concern.”
“Let us call things by their proper names. We do not accept Russia’s actual claims to the Sea of Azov,” Merkel stated. Nevertheless, Germany rejected the idea of new sanctions for the Kerch incident. At the EU Summit on December 13, Berlin will advocate the extension of already-existing sanctions instead, Merkel stated.
The new discussion on tightening of the sanctions was initiated by Poland and Great Britain, supported by Sweden and the Baltic States, but they failed to reach consensus with all EU countries, Merkel told Reuters. The reaction of the EU on Russia’s actions in the Sea of Azov will be the extension of already-existing sanctions for six months, the European high-ranking official told Interfax news agency.
“I think it is a strong signal,” she said. Besides the extension of restrictive measures, Brussels intends to agree on the written statement. Foreign ministers worked on it on Monday, December 10 and will have it approved by the Head of States on Friday, December 14.