Moscow is calling an emergency UN Security Council meeting following the incident near Crimea that saw the Russian military detain Ukrainian warships for breaking into its territorial waters in violation of the UN convention.
Russia has called for a meeting “in connection to the dangerous developments in the Azov sea and subsequent events,” Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN, Dmitry Polyanskiy, told media late on Sunday.
The meeting is preliminarily scheduled for 11.00 am Monday New York time, he said. “Maintenance of international peace and security” will be the sole item on its agenda.
The Russian military opened fire and seized three Ukrainian Navy vessels after they entered Russian territorial waters while heading to the Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from mainland Russia.
Three Ukrainian crew members were injured during the altercation and have received medical assistance from Russian medics. Moscow says that the vessels, the ‘Berdiansk’, the ‘Nikopol’ and the ‘Yany Kapu’, did not respond to repeated Russian coast guard warnings as they were violating the Russian territorial sea. Kiev claims that it had given advance notice to the Russian side that the ships were sailing through the waterway towards the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, as per the established procedure. Russia says there was no such warning.
Russia has labeled the incident a deliberate provocation by the Ukrainian authorities, while Kiev denounced it as an “act of military aggression” and is about to declare martial law, pending approval from Ukrainian lawmakers.
Both parties accuse each other of violating international law, namely the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has already appealed to NATO and the EU, asking them to coordinate efforts for a potential rebuke to Russia.
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