Washington/Moscow: James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defence, retorted, ‘As per the agreement signed in 2003, the Ukrainian and Russian ships had free access to the Kerch Strait. But Russia has scrapped the agreement with a blatant violation by taking action against the Ukrainian ships.’ Whereas, Russia has referred to the Ukrainian government as combative and has clarified that the sailors detained will not be released.
Three Ukrainian ships enter the Azov Sea through the Kerch Strait. These ships were detained by Russia and arrested the crew and officials on the ships. Russia alleged that these ships entered ignoring the warnings issued by Russia. But Ukraine counter attacked Russia saying that Russia purposely took action against its ships. Ukraine claimed that Russia wants to take over Ukraine and the detention of the ships is a part of the same objective.
Severe reactions have been received on this Russia-Ukraine tension from the world over. Strong displeasure was expressed against Russia in the meeting of the United Nations Security Council. Germany, as well as NATO, requested Russia to release the detained ships and the crew. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had indicated her willingness to mediate in the matter. US President Donald Trump had refused to meet the Russian President at the G-20 conference independently.
Russia has still maintained its aggressiveness in the matter and held Ukraine responsible for all the tension. Russian President, Vladimir Putin alleged that the Ukrainian government is combative and the act of sending the ships to the Azov Sea was a part of the efforts to incite Russia. Putin criticised ‘The Ukrainian government wants to extract multiple benefits out of a war with Russia. At the same time, they want to blame the attackers to hide their shortfalls at the local level.’ The Russian President also warned that till the same regime continued in Ukraine, the series of war and other unfortunate events will continue.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has alleged that it is Russia who is trying to ignite a war. President Poroshenko claimed that there are almost 80,000 Russian soldiers are deployed in Crimea and near the Ukrainian border. Poroshenko declared that along with the soldiers 1400 Artillery and rocket systems, 900 tanks, more than 2,000 military vehicles, 500 fighter jets and three hundred helicopters have been deployed.