More sanctions on Russia should be considered: President's aide

More sanctions against Russia should be considered and discussed with allies in the international forum due to the current situation in the Sea of Azov, Polish president’s aide Krzysztof Szczerski has said.

During an earlier telephone conversation with President Andrzej Duda, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko described the current situation in the Sea of Azov, as “dangerous and serious” for Ukraine.

In Mr Poroshenko’s opinion, Russia’s actions are clearly marked by acts of aggression, the Mr Szczerski has said.

On Monday, Mr Poroshenko signed a decree to introduce martial law for two months, pending parliamentary approval.

International cooperation

Polish deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki declared that Poland will cooperate with France and Germany to de-escalate tension in the Sea of Azov and for Russia’s return to observing international law.

Mr Cichocki added that “the stability and security of the region, or even maybe of the whole of Europe, was at stake.”

“Poland will be cooperating with the European Normandy states – France and Germany – which, in my opinion, will initiate an international response to the escalation [of tension in the Sea of Azov - PAP]. We will be cooperating for a de-escalation and Russia’s return to the observance of international law,” the official said.

“Poland has publicly condemned Russia’s aggressive behaviour and has called on Russia to observe international law, with special emphasis in this case on the observance of the right to the freedom of navigation. We have appealed to the two sides for restraint as apart from responsibility for this specific incident, the stability and security of the region, or even maybe the whole of Europe, is at stake,” Mr Cichocki stressed.

Global condemnation

Late on Sunday, Ukraine’s navy said that three of its vessels were seized after being fired upon by Russian forces in the Kerch Strait.

The vessels were on their way to the harbour of Mariupol on the shore of the Sea of Azov. Six Ukrainian sailors were wounded in the incident. The Ukrainian authorities have no official information about 23 members of the crews of these vessels.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko demanded on Monday from Russia the immediate release of the sailors from the seized ships and the return of the vessels to Ukraine.

The event has been condemned by international leaders, including the head of the European Council, Donald Tusk.