Unites States Mission to the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 November 2018
Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Statement on the Developments near the Sea of Azov
After Russia’s clear violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory and its use of military force against Ukraine near the Sea of Azov, the United States calls on Russia to respect its international obligations and ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports.
There is no justification for Russia’s use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel. The Russian government must release the Ukrainian sailors and ships it seized without delay.
Our NATO Allies agree and in the statement issued today we spoke with one voice in calling for Russia to cease their actions and allow for freedom of navigation. All Allies support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and territorial waters and we strongly condemn Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, which the Alliance does not and will not recognize.
The United States stands with Ukraine against this Russian aggression, and we will work with our allies at NATO to provide political and practical assistance to the country within the framework of established cooperation.
As President Trump said many times, the United States would welcome a normal relationship with Russia, but actions like this one continue to make that impossible.