UNGA Approves Ukraine Resolution on Navigation in Azov, Black Seas
01:42 18.12.2018(updated 03:31 18.12.2018)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United Nations General Assembly passed by a 2/3 majority vote Ukraine's draft resolution calling on Russia to stop restricting international navigation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
"The result of the vote is as follows: in favor – 66, against – 19, abstention – 72. Draft resolution [titled Militarization of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine), as well as parts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov] is adopted," a UN official presiding over the plenary meeting announced on Monday.
Russia's First Deputy Envoy to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy told the General Assembly that the adoption of the draft resolution was deeply politicized.
"It is disappointing that Kiev and its Western sponsors of the General Assembly have submitted yet another extremely politicized and mendacious subject," Polyanskiy said on Monday. "We regret the vote that has happened, but we are heartened that many states abstained not wishing to have anything with this pernicious Ukrainian enterprise."
The resolution follows the recent incident in the Kerch Strait that connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The document urges Russia to stop restricting international navigation in the region.
On November 25, Ukraine's Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats and the Yany Kapu tugboat illegally crossed the Russian maritime border as they sailed toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian vessels were seized by Russia after failing to respond to a demand to stop.
Following the incident, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree declaring martial law in several Ukrainian regions located near the Russian border. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the incident was a provocation prepared in advance as a pretext to introduce martial law ahead of Ukraine's presidential election.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday Moscow was sure Kiev would continue provocations on the Russian border, stressing that he had information about Poroshenko planning a provocative incident for the end of December. The Russian foreign minister pledged a harsh response in case Poroshenko went ahead with the plans.
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