Poroshenko: only sanctions can halt Russian occupation in Azov Sea
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko counts on sanctions against Russia for stopping Ukrainian vessels in the Azov Sea if Moscow does not stop making illegal steps.
"Russia has no right to attack or stop our vessels, which carry goods and passengers from two important Ukrainian ports, Mariupol and Berdyansk. If Russia does not stop, we have only one instrument, which is sanctions," he said in an interview with The Washington Post, the press service of the head of state reported on its website on Saturday.
Poroshenko said that Ukraine has absolutely clear legal status in the Azov Sea.
He said that Ukraine needs more sanctions on Russia to halt the potential danger of the Russian occupation of Azov.
"If they block a vessel with Ukrainian iron and steel products from Mariupol for one day, the cost is thousands of dollars," the president said.
He said that the Russians are attacking Ukrainian fishermen in Ukrainian waters all the time — the Russians arrest them, stop them and endanger them.
This is part of the hybrid war against Ukraine, the head of state said.
"Russia's purpose is to occupy the Azov Sea, the same way it did Crimea. This is a brutal violation of international law, and we cannot accept it. We are strengthening our military there and launching a case against Russia in the international Permanent Court of Arbitration," he said in the interview.