Statement By Heather Nauert on Russia’s Harassment of International Shipping Transiting the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, DC

STATEMENT BY HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON
August 30, 2018

Russia’s Harassment of International Shipping Transiting the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov

The United States condemns Russia’s harassment of international shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.  Russia has delayed hundreds of commercial vessels since April and in recent weeks has stopped at least 16 commercial ships attempting to reach Ukrainian ports.

Russia’s actions to impede maritime transit are further examples of its ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine, as well as its disregard for international norms.

The United States supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters.

We call on Russia to cease its harassment of international shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.