MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. By wrongfully accusing Russia of militarizing the Azov Sea region, the European Union fails to take into account its status of a sea shared exclusively by Russia and Ukraine, Russia’s EU ambassador, Vladimir Chizhov, said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel on Thursday.
According to the high-ranking Russian diplomats, the European public has vague understanding of the status of the Azov Sea, bounded in the north by Ukraine and in the south by Russia.
"The issue of Russia’s alleged violations of some kind of commitments regarding the militarization of the Sea of Azov, which is currenly being raised, is total nonsense, because Russia, in line with the existing agreements on the Sea of Azov status has full right to do so," Chizhov said. "At the same time, for some reason, they turn a blind eye to Ukraine’s declared plans of building the biggest naval base on the Azov Sea coast."
Earlier on Thursday, the European parliament adopted a resolution to express its concerns about the "very volatile security situation in the Sea of Azov, which could easily escalate to an open conflict." The European Parliament also tasked the EU high representative for foreign affairs to "to make it clear that the targeted sanctions against Russia will be reinforced if the conflict in the Azov Sea escalates further."
Earlier this year, Ukraine announced its plans to boost its military presence in the Sea of Azov. Apart from setting up a naval base, which is expected to start operations by the end of the year, Kiev has been boosting its air forces, ground troops and border guards in the region.