The committee is deeply concerned about the escalation of
tensions between the Russian Federation and Ukraine in the region
of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, which culminated on 25 November
2018 when three Ukrainian warships were manoeuvring from Odessa,
on the Ukrainian Black Sea coast, to the city of Mariupol on the
Sea of Azov.
The action proposed by the committee is primarily political
and guided by the principled position the Parliamentary Assembly
has taken on numerous occasions in favour of Ukraine’s sovereignty
and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised
The Russian Federation is urged to immediately release the
Ukrainian servicemen and ensure they are granted the necessary medical,
legal and/or consular assistance and to ensure freedom of passage
in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait and to refrain from the
use of force.
The authorities of both the Russian Federation and of Ukraine
are called upon to respect the Treaty on the Use of the Sea of Azov
and Kerch Strait and the agreed regulations for navigation through
the Canal and to refrain from any further steps which might escalate
the conflict and threaten security in the wider region. Council
of Europe member States should do everything in their power to avoid
such an escalation of violence.