Ukraine did not seek out any provocations in the Sea of Azov, and all attempts to prove the opposite are attempts to justify the barbarism and aggression that Russia shows towards Ukraine. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman said during a joint press conference with Federiсa Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
"This is Russia's ruthless attack against our fleet and our sailors. Ukraine did not make any provocations. And it is our troops that are enjailed in Russia. All the rest is another attempt by the Russian Federation to justify its savagery. I would advise Russian officials to expand their efforts to free the seamen and provide peace", stressed Volodymyr Groysman.
Federika Mogerini supported the Prime Minister of Ukraine. "There is no justification for using the military force of Russia against Ukrainian naval ships. This is our shared and firm position", said Federica Mogherini. "We firmly support Ukraine, insist on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and will continue the humanitarian programs for the civilian population."
The Head of Government stressed that the actions of Russia - both military and economic - primarily in the context of the blockade of Ukrainian ports, inflicts great harm not only to Ukraine but also to the economies of other countries.
"In the Azov Sea today there are only 10% vessels flying the Ukrainian flag. The rest are flying the flags, in particular, of the EU. Russia stops vessels from other countries, violating all norms and damaging the economies. The tit-for-tat response of our partners towards the ships flying the flag of the Russian Federation would be a fair answer", urged Volodymyr Groysman.
He stressed that the sanctions policy should be prolonged. "Ukraine does not want to impose sanctions for sanctions. Sanctions are a punishment for violations of law and democracy. Regardless of what is called the aggressor country. To lift sanctions against an aggressor while the barbaric acts prolong means to sign on to violations of international law, massacring people", emphasized the Prime Minister.