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.