Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser and his Lithuanian and Polish counterparts met with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday 15 January. The meeting focused on the security situation of Ukraine and the events on the Sea of Azov.
The foreign ministers reaffirmed their continued support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. “What is happening on the Sea of Azov is a deliberate escalation of tensions by Russia. Russia is curtailing the freedom of navigation, which violates both the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as the agreement regarding the use of the Sea of Azov between Ukraine and Russia,” Mikser said. “This blatant violation of international law must end. The so-called trial of the crew members of Ukrainian ships that took place yesterday in Russia was another setback; we call on Russia to immediately release the ships and their crew,” the minister stressed.
According to the foreign ministers, the events of the Sea of Azov have been at the centre of discussions in the European Union in recent months. “The EU stands up for Ukraine, and our shared position is that we have to reinforce our support for Ukraine with specific steps,” Mikser said. As a possible measure, imposing additional sanctions on Russia in response to the events on the Sea of Azov was raised at the meeting.
The foreign ministers and the president also talked about the general situation in Eastern Partnership countries. Additionally, President Poroshenko outlined issues related to the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
During his visit, Mikser recognised the reforms carried out in Ukraine and expressed support for the country’s integration with the European Union and NATO. “Despite the extremely complicated situation since 2014, Ukraine has shown progress in enacting reforms. It is vital to maintain this course,” Foreign Minister Mikser said at the press conference in Dnipro.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
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