Ukraine's president announces package of 'Azov sanctions': "Russia will pay high price for its aggression"

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President Petro Poroshenko says Ukraine is preparing claims to international judicial institutions in response to the act of aggression against Ukrainian ships.

"The justice minister was tasked today to complete the filing of a lawsuit against Russia for this act of aggression in order to ensure that those who gave these orders are brought to justice," Poroshenko noted during a meeting with the relatives of the Ukrainian sailors captured by the Kremlin, Censor.NET reports citing the press office of the president.

The head of state noted that the Russian Federation "has fallen into this trap with its absolute hatred of Ukraine, with its malice."

He stressed that Ukrainian sailors were prisoners of war: "They are classical prisoners of war according to the Geneva Convention. And that is why our position will be very tough".

The president added that "in most countries, sanctions will be imposed on those who took part in the attack on our guys."

"Those who attacked and those who unfairly judged. This should be the response of the whole world to the events that have taken place. We are not going to leave anyone unpunished," he said.

The head of state also emphasized the need to strengthen sanctions policy as regards the actions of the Russian Federation and said that the package of "Azov sanctions" was being discussed, which would deal with individuals who participated in the aggression against Ukrainian ships. Also sanctions against Russian seaports and Russian ships are planned.

At the same time, the president said that "we must struggle for the Kerch Strait." "We will not give up a single piece of Ukrainian land," he stressed.

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.