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30.11.18 12:01

US position is clear: Russia must return to Ukraine its ships, detained sailors, - State Department deputy spokesperson

America's position regarding the Kerch Strait incident is very clear: the Russian Federation must return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crewmembers.

US position is clear: Russia must return to Ukraine its ships, detained sailors, - State Department deputy spokesperson

As reported by Censor.NET, Deputy Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, Robert Palladino, told a briefing on Thursday, Nov. 29.

"Our position has been very clear, from the President to Ambassador Haley to Secretary Pompeo. They (Russians - Ed.) must return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crewmembers," he said.

He recalled that the U.S., its European partners from NATO, OSCE, European Union had all issued strong statements.

"There have been emergency sessions that have taken place. There is a coalescing of opposition and strong condemnation for the aggression that we have witnessed," the spokesperson said.

Palladino also said he had no details to provide about the cancellation of the meeting that President Trump was supposed to have with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit.

According to him, "the aggression that we’ve witnessed this week is unacceptable and a strong message has been sent."

Asked how was a strong message sent, Palladino said: "Through isolation."

On Nov. 25, Russian border vessels committed aggressive actions against three Ukrainian ships that set sail from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol in the Azov Sea. After that, Russian special forces opened fire on the Ukrainian tugboat Yany Kapu, small armored artillery boats Berdiansk and Nikopol in the Kerch Strait and seized them. There were 23 sailors on board the ships, and six of them were wounded.

Russia announced its intention to try detained Ukrainian sailors for allegedly illegal crossing of the Russian state border.

On Nov. 26, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on the situation in Ukraine related to the latest developments in the Black and Azov Seas.

Later on the same day, Ukraine's parliament gave the green light to a presidential decree on the introduction of martial law for 30 days in 10 regions of Ukraine – Vinnytsia region, Luhansk region, Mykolaiv region, Odesa region, Sumy region, Kharkiv region, Chernihiv region, Kherson region, Donetsk region and Zaporizhia region, as well as the inland waters of the Azov-Kerch water area.

On Nov. 28, the Russian rubberstamp district court of Simferopol city in Crimea arrested 24 Ukrainian sailors, who had been captured by Russian FSB near the Kerch Strait, for two months. They all face six years in prison.

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