Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The Ukrainian “Donbass” command ship and the “Korets” naval tow transited the shallow depths of the Kerch Strait with the help of Russian maritime pilots, which the military personnel of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, contrary to instructions, brought on board.
This was stated by the representative of Ukraine in the working subgroup on security issues of the Trilateral contact group in Minsk Evgeny Marchuk on the air of the TV channel “112 Ukraine”.
“All public servants and institutions have no right to, and can’t, come into contact with the administration of Kerch. These two ships of ours are not combat ships, but the auxiliary fleet of the Naval Forces of Ukraine. When they approached the Kerch Strait, they were escorted, and more importantly, they took a maritime pilots on board. Warships can’t take maritime pilots onboard at all, there is another system of accompaniment when the maritime pilot goes ahead, and it must be followed, and so on. To put it briefly, our military took Russian pilots aboard in Kerch, and they in turn quietly guided these two ships to the Sea of Azov, and afterwards the ships went at first to Mariupol, then to Berdyansk.
A question in the book of problems: did we thus give Russia a good argument – ‘what’s the problem? After all, it is our common sea according to a treaty that acts at this very moment, which is recognised as the internal waters of our two countries. Your warships, even if it’s the auxiliary fleet, quietly transited. What’s the problem here?’,” summarised Marchuk.
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