The United States calls on the presidents of Russia and Ukraine Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko to participate directly in resolving the situation in the Kerch Strait. This is stated in a statement issued on Monday by the state Department Secretary Michael Pompeo.
“We call on both sides to exercise restraint and to respect their international obligations and responsibilities. We call on presidents Poroshenko and Putin to be directly involved in resolving this situation. In this regard, we reiterate our support for the Normandy four format, “the diplomat said. He added that” the United States expresses deep concern “about what happened in the Kerch Strait.
“Reports that Russian ships rammed and opened fire on Ukrainian ships, injuring members of the Ukrainian crew before capturing three ships, represent a dangerous escalation and violation of international law,” the Secretary of state said. According to him, the Ukrainian ships “tried to pass through the Kerch Strait.”
“The United States condemns these aggressive actions of Russia, – the statement says. “We call on Russia to return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crew members, as well as to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, which extends to its territorial waters.”
Earlier, the state Department refused to answer the question of the TASS correspondent about how Washington treats Poroshenko’s decision to introduce martial law in Ukraine.