PACE calls on Russia to release POW Ukrainian seamen, ensure free passage through Kerch Strait
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has supported the resolution on the escalation of tensions in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.
Some 103 parliamentarians voted for this resolution, three deputies opposed and 16 abstained.
“The PACE resolution on Azov, on which they worked for two months, was adopted. 103 for! The text is good. I congratulate our delegation for the remarkable result," Bloc Petro Poroshenko deputy and head of Ukraine's PACE delegation Volodymyr Ariev said on Twitter on Thursday.
Dr. Andreas Nick, a PACE member from Germany, was the rapporteur for the resolution.
According to the draft resolution posted on the PACE website, the Assembly condemns the use of military force by Russia against Ukrainian warships and their crews, and also calls on Moscow to immediately release Ukrainian military personnel and provide them with the necessary medical, legal and/or consular assistance.
The Assembly also requested to ensure freedom of passage in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait in accordance with the agreement between Russia and Ukraine "On Cooperation in the Use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait" and to refrain from violence.
PACE also expressed concern about the policy of Moscow on selective inspection of Ukrainian and international vessels, which may impede navigation in the Sea of Azov.
The parliamentarians also support the proposal of Germany and France that observers from third countries monitor the movement of ships and guarantee freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait.
In addition, PACE called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Committee of the Council of Europe on the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) to visit the Ukrainian POWs jailed in Moscow.