At the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of NATO countries with the Heads of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and Georgia on December 4 to 5 in Brussels, Ukraine will offer the Alliance new elements of cooperation, stated Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin at a joint briefing with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz in Kyiv, Ukrinform reports.
"At the meeting with the Foreign Minister of the NATO-member countries I will demand not only condemnation [of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait], but effective measures first. I will offer several new elements in our cooperation with the alliance as Ukraine should gradually move towards becoming the eastern flank of the Alliance,” Klimkin stated.
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.