On Wednesday, 28 November, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima adopted a statement on Russia’s acts of aggression against Ukraine in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, strongly condemning Russia’s aggressive and provocative conduct. i.e., blocking, ramming and capturing Ukrainian navy ships and crew members, thus violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and fundamental principles of international law.
The Committee insists that the Russian Federation immediately release all the arrested and detained citizens of Ukraine (the 24 detained navy crew members), as well all political hostages and illegally detained citizens of Ukraine.
It is noted in the statement that a court in Russian Federation-annexed Crimea has detained most of the 24 initially captured Ukrainian navy crew as for a pre-trial investigation period of two months, and under Russian law this pre-trial detention period can be extended indefinitely, which means that it is impossible to determine the potential date of the trial.
Furthermore, the Committee reaffirms in the statement its resolute support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, urging Russia to immediately discontinue its acts of aggression and provocation against Ukraine, to release the captured ships, compensate all the losses incurred as a result of its conduct, and to ensure safe passage for the Ukrainian ships to Ukrainian ports on the shore of the Sea of Azov, pursuant to international law.
“Russia’s conduct is a blatant violation of international law and an intentional escalation of aggression on the part of Russia. It is important to deescalate the situation, and currently this can only be achieved by Russia itself. As close allies of Ukraine and members of the democratic international community, it is our duty to react strongly and resolutely whenever we witness such blatant violations of international law,” said Rihards Kols, MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Committee’s statement urges international institutions including the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the UN to immediately react to the incident of 25 November which took place in the Kerch Strait.
Saeima Press Service