Russia-Ukraine Kerch Strait Tensions

Denys also noted that the comments coming from Russia about the Ukrainian boats violating Russia’s maritime border are groundless and fall under the standard Kremlin’s narrative of “Russia being purely on the defensive, protecting the state from the Western attacks.”

Photo Credit: VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA. JUNE 13, 2012. ITAR-TASS /Landov

Our political analyst, Denys Kolesnyk participated in The Debate show run by French TV channel France 24 English to weigh in recent Russian aggression against the Ukrainian Navy at sea and the introduction of the Martial Law in Ukraine.

He pointed out that there were no legal grounds for the Russian FSB vessels to attack, pursue and seize three Ukrainian vessels neither to block the Kerch Strait.

According to the International Law, Crimea is a de jure part of Ukraine, and the use of the Kerch Strait as well as the navigation in the Azov Sea is regulated by the… Click to Tweet

Denys also noted that the comments coming from Russia about the Ukrainian boats violating Russia’s maritime border are groundless and fall under the standard Kremlin’s narrative of “Russia being purely on the defensive, protecting the state from the Western attacks.”

Current stage

At the moment of the show, the Martial Law hasn’t been yet adopted by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament), but Mr. Kolesnyk mentioned that there were negotiations ongoing between the different political forces and the accepted term was to decrease the timeframe of the Martial Law from 60 down to 30 days and to write a clause mentioning that the elections will take place on March 31, to prevent the Martial Law pushing the date of elections away.

As it turned out later, the Ukrainian Parliament has endorsed the introduction of the Martial Law starting from November 28, 2018, under the conditions mentioned above with an additional particularity – only 10 regions bordering Russia and Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region will be affected; therefore the Martial Law will not be applied to the whole territory of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s decision

However, Denys Kolesnyk didn’t endorse such a decision but stressed that it is obvious, the Ukrainian Government had no good options available on the table; therefore Poroshenko decided to do at least something to do not lose face in his own country. Denys was skeptical about Poroshenko benefiting in the long run from such a decision, even though in a short-term he may obtain some support points.

Speaking of Moscow’s actions at sea, Mr. Kolesnyk said that it was instead about showing that Russia can and will do it at will. He also underlined that it is not about Ukraine or even Syria, Russia is unhappy with the world order and wants to revise, and Kremlin is pretty clear about it.

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