Oleksandr Turchynov: Russia’s aggression will not stop Ukraine’s plans to establish a ship-boat grouping of the Naval Forces in the Azov Sea
Russia's aggression will not stop our plans to
establish a ship-boat grouping of the Naval Forces in the Azov Sea. This was
stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine
Oleksandr Turchynov in an interview with BBC News Ukraine.
"We are systematically working on strengthening the
coastal defense of the Black and Azov seas. To this end, new and upgraded
missile systems will be involved. This will allow us not only to effectively
counteract any landing operations but also to destroy any ship threatening our
country at a 300 km distance even when it is located at the home port, - he
pointed out. - We must prove to the whole world that Ukraine has not lost its
positions in the Sea of Azov and that this is a sea where international law is
in force, and both Ukrainian and foreign ships can stay there".
The NSDC Secretary also stated that Ukrainian warships
will continue to pass the Kerch Strait. "This is a matter of principle for us.
If we stop and yield, Russia will actually fulfill its task of seizing the Sea
of Azov and present new self-defined sea borders in the Black Sea to the world,
de facto legalizing the occupation of the Crimea", - he said.
Mr. Turchynov informed that Ukraine offers foreign
partners to take part in the passage from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports to the
Ukrainian ports on the Azov coast.
"We will invite representatives of the OSCE and other
international organizations to visit our ships in order to prove to the whole
world that Ukraine and its sailors do not violate any laws and international
rules. We have no alternative to such actions", - he concluded.
Answering a question,
Oleksandr Turchynov noted that after the events of November 25, the Russian
Federation "was condemned but not punished" and expressed the conviction that
after such aggression sanctions against Russia should be considerably
strengthened, and appropriate measures should be taken against the Russian fleet
around the world, otherwise the next steps will be even more bloody and
dangerous, not only for Ukraine but for the whole world.