Russia considers Azov Sea as platform for expansion, - NSDC Secretary

Russia considers Azov Sea as platform for expansion, - NSDC Secretary
Russia’s military-political leadership regards Azov-Black Sea region as a platform for its further expansion, as Oleksandr Turchynov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, said, the website of the service reports.
“Russia's buildup of the military presence is combined with "a brutal violation of international maritime law in the Azov Sea, which manifests itself, in particular, in the illegal construction of the Kerch Bridge and the growing number of incidents involving the detention of Russian military domestic and foreign vessels. We see Russia's efforts to actually unleash a military-economic blockade of the Azov coast of Ukraine,” he said.

Turchynov noted that “the Mariupol direction remains one of the most threatening in the JFO area, and it is possible that the enemy could conduct both ground and sea landing operations along the Azov coast".
"In the southernmost confrontation zone, a steadily high number of shellings of our positions and military provocations by the Russian-terrorist troops is observed", he stressed.

According to Turchynov, to counterwork the Russian expansion it is necessary to enhance Ukraine’s Naval Forces presence in the region by “re-deploying of a part of Armed Forces Navy ship-boat group, deployment of additional coastal defense posts and effective counteraction to land and sea provocations by the Russian Federation”.
It should be noted that over the past three months the Russian activity in the Sea of Azov has increased. Russians do not allow trade vessels, which enter and exit the Ukrainian ports, to freely cross the Kerch Strait.

Moreover, on July 15 Russia detained 148 ships for inspection in the Sea of Azov. Due to this, Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, entrusted the Defence Minister, the Head of the General Staff and Command of Ukraine’s Naval Forces to take measures to stop Russian provocations concerning the blockade of Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov.
Ukraine also supports the imposition of sanctions against Russian Black Sea ports due to the blockade of the Sea of Azov.
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