Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said that “Russia used military force against Ukraine in an open and direct way” during the Kerch Strait incident, at a press conference in Brussels on Monday.
Stoltenberg also said that “there is no justification for the use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel” and called “on Russia to release immediately the Ukrainian sailors and ships it seized yesterday.”
He added that the “incident is a reminder that there is a war going on in Ukraine” and stated that “Russia must end its support to militant groups and withdraw all its forces from Ukrainian territory.”
Russia’s coastguard detained three Ukrainian vessels after they entered Russia’s Black Sea waters on Sunday.
Ukrainian authorities claim that their ships had a right to pass freely over the Kerch Strait based on international law.
Mandatory credit: NATO TV