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OSCE PA committee approves anti-Russian resolution on Crimea

The resolution says about an alleged "increasing militarization of the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait and the Black Sea by the Russian Federation"

LUXEMBOURG, July 6. /TASS/. The Political Affairs and Security Committee of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) has passed a resolution, which was drafted by Ukrainian lawmaker Artur Gerasimov and calls for "the de-occupation of Crimea."

According to the resolution, the OSCE PA "reaffirms its full respect for the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, which include the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, and maritime areas." Besides, the Assembly condemns Russia’s alleged invasion of Crimea and urge Moscow to withdraw its "occupation forces from Crimea and to bring it back under the control of the Government of Ukraine."

The resolution says about an alleged "increasing militarization of the Sea of Azov, the Kerch Strait and the Black Sea by the Russian Federation." It urges Moscow to provide medical and legal assistance to the Ukrainian naval sailors arrested after the incident in the Kerch Strait in November 2018.

According to the text, the OSCE PA says the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) in Ukraine should use the technical surveillance equipment to monitor the situation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

The Russian delegation stood up against the resolution. MP Nikolai Ryzhak, a member of the Russian delegation, said that "even the new chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff admitted that the incident in the Kerch Strait had been a provocation by the Ukrainian state."

"But we are listening to those tales now," he said. "False allegations about annexation, invasion and militarization have nothing in common with the real state of affairs," he stressed.

Chair of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said that the Ukrainian sailors "broke into the Russian territorial waters and crossed the Russian state border in the grossest way, so the court will judge them under the legislation of the Russian Federation." Moreover, he urged the OSCE PA to focus on the ongoing shelling by Ukrainian forces against the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass.

On November 25, 2018, three Ukrainian naval ships violated the navigation rules for warships in Russia’s territorial waters when crossing into the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea. The ships were forced to stop by Russian border guards and then detained. The Ukrainian sailors were arrested and charged with illegally crossing Russia’s border.