Baltic states and Poland push for 'Azov sanctions package' against Russia

The Baltic states and Poland are advocating that new sanctions be imposed on Russia in connection with its capturing of Ukrainian sailors near the Kerch Strait, said Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, as reported by Interfax-Ukraine.

“Estonia’s position is that the countermeasures, the sanctions on Russia in connection with the situation in the east of the country and the illegal annexation of Crimea, must be maintained until the inflicted damage has been compensated, until Russia returns to compliance with the principles of international law,” Mikser said, commenting on the outcomes of the visit between the foreign ministers of the Baltic states and Poland.

“Of course, Estonia’s position is that, if a situation arises which the reasonable imposition of additional countermeasures is needed to resolve, they should be taken. This has already been done, for example, after the illegal elections in eastern Ukraine. These sanctions were revised and expanded. If the need arises, the options should be carefully weighed and, if necessary, taken,” the minister added.

He noted that the matter of additional sanctions had also been discussed in a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

“The EU supports Ukraine, and we believe that we should affirm the support with concrete steps. One of these steps could be to impose an additional sanction regime, the so-called “Azov sanction package” on Russia in response to the events in the Sea of Azov,” Estonian diplomat said.

24 Ukrainian sailors were captured by Russian border guards on 25 November 2018. A Kremlin-controlled Crimean court placed them under arrest until January 24, after which they were transferred to Moscow.

In a closed court session on January 15-16, their arrest was extended until April 24. The Ukrainians were divided into four groups, such that the ruling was made by a different judge in each case.


  Baltic States, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Crimea