Estonia condemns Russian attack on Ukrainian vessels in Kerch Strait

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The Estonian government sharply condemned Russia for its actions against Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait on Sunday. Russian forces first stopped, then fired on and seized two Ukrainian artillery ships as well as a tug. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas called the actions a "serious breach of international law."

"The incident in Kerch Strait is a serious breach of international law. I condemn Russia's seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels, blocking of the Kerch Strait and aggression against Ukraine. I support the European Union and NATO's call for a de-escalation of the tense situation," Ratas said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) also condemned Russia's actions. Estonia condemns the Russian attack on Ukrainian Navy vessels in the Kerch Strait, Mikser said, and calls upon Russia to stop its actions and immediately release the vessels and allow them to reach a Ukrainian port.

"This is a deliberate escalation of current tensions on the part of Russia, a serious breach of international law and an aggression against Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Mikser said.

Russian forces stopped two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug on their way into the Sea of Azov on Sunday morning, ramming the tug. Russia scrambled fighter jets and helicopters as the Ukrainian vessels were approaching the only bridge across the Kerch Strait, which itself was blocked by a tanker, the BBC reported.

According to the Ukrainian government, Russian forces opened fire on the Ukrainian Navy vessels. Russia confirmed that weapons were used, adding that three Ukrainian sailors were injured.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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