Ukraine and the EU have condemned Russia’s decision to control foreign military and official shipping.
Foreign military and government shipping in parts of Russia’s Black Sea will be restricted until October, a Russian news agency reported, with strong condemnation from Ukraine and the European Union.
The announcement comes on Friday In the midst of excitement The situation between Moscow and Kiev has escalated in recent weeks following the outbreak of fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
There is Russia Has snatched its army Along Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders and on the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Russia also conducted naval exercises in the Black Sea this week.
“From April 24 to October 21 and from October 31 to October 31, the movement of foreign military ships and other state ships through the territorial waters of the Russian Federation will be suspended,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency quoted a Defense Ministry statement as saying on Friday.
The sanctions will affect the western part of Crimea, the southern coastline of the peninsula from Sevastopol to Huruzuf, and a “rectangle” of the Kerch Peninsula near the Apuskki Nature Reserve.
A senior EU official described the move as a “very worrying development”.
The move violates the principles of free maritime transit and international law and raises tensions in the vicinity of “military formation on the other side of Russia’s border with Ukraine,” the official told AFP.
Tensions are rising
The official said the sanctions would increase tensions because Russia was “taking unilateral action in the international arena”.
An area affected by Russian sanctions is located near the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov and is crucial for the export of grain and steel from Ukraine.
Kerch Street became the scene of the conflict in 2014 after the Russians seized three Ukrainian ships there on charges of violating Russian territorial waters.
Ukraine was free to operate the Kerch Strait with Russia until 2014, when Moscow demanded full control of the waterways after the annexation of Crimea.
In 2013, Moscow inaugurated the Kerch Strait, the site of an expensive 19-kilometer (12-mile) bridge connecting Crimea with mainland Russia.
On Thursday, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry criticized the restrictions on what was initially identified as “occupation of Ukraine’s sovereign rights” earlier this week.
It further stressed that in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, “Russia should not obstruct or stop international travel in the port of Azov Sea.”