Kyiv studying various ways to improve situation in Azov Sea involving allies and partners – Tuka
Deputy Minister for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons Heorhiy Tuka assesses the situation with Russian expansion in the Sea of Azov as very complex and claims that the Ukrainian authorities are studying certain scenarios for Russia's response.
"The situation is very complicated, but I cannot say that we lost it. I'm not ready to unveil certain scenarios that we are currently studying, including the use of force to unblock it. The issue is very complicated. And I simply would not like now, without having a certain decision, talk about the upcoming actions," Tuka said in an interview with the media outlet Apostrof published on Sunday.
According to him, there are certain scenarios on how to improve the situation, but for their implementation, Ukraine will need the help of allies and international partners, and "we have such opportunities."
"I do not see a real way how we can cope with this situation on our own, because I do not see a purely military path. As for a diplomatic solution, according to existing norms, both Ukrainian and Russian law enforcement agencies have the right to stop and inspect ships. It's not about violating the law, it's about abusing the law. These are absolutely different things. There is no instant solution, but we have to work in this direction. And we will be working," he said.
At the same time, he noted that the strategy for improving the situation of Ukraine in the Azov Sea will not be made public until it is implemented, and this is unlikely to happen this year.
"This will be possible with the help of our international partners if they agree to this. This is a difficult question," Tuka added.
As reported, on August 10, Secretary of the Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov visited the area of the Joint Forces Operation, where he checked the readiness to counteract Russian aggression in the south of Ukraine, organizing coastal defense and protecting the coast of the Azov Sea.
He discussed the deployment of a naval force to the Sea of Azov with the Ukrainian Navy command.
The naval presence in this area should be enhanced by "redeploying some ships and hovercraft of the Ukrainian Navy, placing additional posts for observation of the coastline and the waters, and forming groups to respond quickly to provocations staged by Russia in the Sea of Azov," Turchynov said.
Turchynov met with the heads of the State Border Service at the Mariupol Seaport to set goals regarding the provision of equipment and the strengthening of the maritime component of the protection of the southern border.
"We are witnessing Russia's attempt to begin a military and economic blockade of the Ukrainian coast of the Sea of Azov," he said.