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Most of EU nations oppose new anti-Russian sanctions over Kerch Strait incident — source

BRUSSELS, December 13. /TASS/. Most of the European Union member nations are against further sanctions against Russia over the Kerch Strait incident, a European source said on Thursday on the sidelines of a EU summit in Brussels.

According to the source, the majority of EU countries believe it would be counterproductive to impose more sanctions over the situation around the Kerch Strait. These countries, in his words, stand for efforts to deescalate the situation and find a solution to the issue of inspections of ships, including European ones, which take too much time.

In violation of the rules of passage via Russia’s territorial sea and the Kerch Strait, three warships of the Ukrainian Navy crossed Russia’s state border on November 25. The Russian side had to use weapons to compel the ships to stop. Three Ukrainian servicemen were lightly wounded. They received medical assistance. The ships were detained and escorted to the port of Kerch. A criminal case was initiated on border violation charges.

The twenty-four Ukrainian nationals who were detained after the incident have been arrested till January 25. They face charges of illegal border crossing (part 3, article 322 of the Russian Criminal Code), which carry a punishment of up to six year in prison.