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8 April, 2019

G7 urges Russia to release Ukrainian sailors, ready to introduce new sanctions

The foreign ministers of the G7 countries have called on Russia to release Ukrainian seamen, who on November 25, 2018, were forcibly seized in the Kerch Strait area

“We call on Russia to release the detained crew and vessels and refrain from impeding lawful passage through the Kerch Strait,” the communiqué issued after the ministerial meeting in France said.

“There is no justification for Russia’s use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel. We urge restraint, due respect for international law, and the prevention of any further escalation,” the document says.

The G7 foreign ministers also expressed extreme concern about the security situation and the humanitarian situation in Donbas.

“Expressing our utmost concern at the challenging security and humanitarian situation that has prevailed in Eastern Ukraine for nearly five years, we fully support the efforts within the Normandy format and of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We are convinced that the only way to reach a peaceful and sustainable solution to the conflict is through the full implementation by the sides of their commitments under the Minsk agreements with the aim of restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” according to the report.

“We recall that the duration of economic sanctions is entirely linked to Russia’s complete implementation of its commitments under the Minsk agreements. These sanctions can only be rolled back if Russia truly fulfills these commitments, but we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures should Russia’s actions so require,” according to the document.

Kyiv Post

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