Ukraine: the E8 call for restraint & de-escalation
Joint statement by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the UK
26 November 2018
The current and incoming Members of the Security Council from the European Union express their utmost concern about the maritime incidents that took place yesterday in the Kerch Strait, involving Russian forces and Ukrainian navy ships intending to sail through the strait, and resulting in the wounding of several Ukrainian sailors. Nothing justifies the use of force by Russia.
This situation is a direct consequence of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 and the subsequent construction of the Kerch bridge. We strongly reaffirm our full recognition of the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine within its internationally-recognized borders.
We call for restraint and de-escalation. Detained Ukrainian sailors should be freed without delay and captured vessels returned.
We call for the Russian Federation to restore freedom of passage at the Kerch Strait and to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea.
We will pursue all our efforts to find a peaceful and durable solution to the conflict in the East of Ukraine including Crimea and we will fully support the efforts within the Normandy format.