Kiev / Moscow – The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of preparing to capture the whole of Ukraine by asserting, ‘Don’t believe in Putin’s lies. The Russian President wants the old Russian Empire back. Crimea, Donbass, he wants the entire country. He considers himself the Russian Emperor or the Russian Tsar, and the empire, therefore cannot be complete without Ukraine. He considers Ukraine as a Russian colony.’ On the other hand, the Russian President justified the Russian naval action and claimed that Ukraine was deliberately carrying out inciting actions.
Two Ukrainian gunboats and one tugboat had entered the Azov Sea through the Kerch Strait off the Crimea coast. Russia alleged that the ships entered the Russian waters without intimation and hence action was taken against them. Three crew members on the Ukrainian ships were injured in the firing after which Russia detained the crew and the officers along with the ships. Subsequently, Ukraine reacted sharply by announcing to impose the ‘Martial Law’.
An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) was called to discuss the Ukrainian crisis. During the meeting, the United States and European countries criticised Russia. At the same time, NATO appealed to Russia to release Ukraine’s ships and its crew. Moreover, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel expressed willingness to mediate in the matter. Even so, the Ukrainian crisis seems far from over.
Ukrainian President Poroshenko adopted an aggressive stand in the matter and accused Russia’s action in the Sea of Azov of being an ‘act of aggression’. He claimed that after taking control of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, Russia now wanted to take control of the Sea of Azov. He also demanded that Germany, as well as NATO, should deploy their warships in Azov on an immediate basis to stop the Russian aggression.
The Ukrainian President’s call has not as yet received a response from NATO and other countries. Nevertheless, given the Ukrainian conflict, NATO’s sources claimed that the naval deployment had already been increased in the region.
Meanwhile, as the dispute in the Azov Sea is continues, information about Russia having deployed the advanced S-400 air defence system in Crimea was received.