Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

15. Situation in the Sea of Azov (debate)
Video of the speeches

  Puhemies. – Esityslistalla on seuraavana komission varapuheenjohtajan ja unionin ulkoasioiden ja turvallisuuspolitiikan korkean edustajan julkilausuma tilanteesta Asovanmerellä (2018/2870(RSP)).


  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, I would like to thank Parliament for keeping a strong focus on the security situation around the Black Sea after the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. We do not and we will not recognise the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian Federation.

It is first and foremost a matter of principles, values – principles and values that all European nations agreed in Helsinki in 1975. We all agreed to the basic principle that our frontiers cannot be changed by military force. And this is a principle, it is a value, on which our common living together is based, but it is also a fundamental interest of all Europeans, because this is the foundation of peace and security on our European continent.

When this principle is violated, as it has been, we are all less secure in our continent and the events in the Sea of Azov are a demonstration of this. When the basic rules of peaceful coexistence are disregarded, instability and tensions are bound to rise. The construction of the Kerch Bridge between the Crimean Peninsula and the Russian Federation took place without Ukraine’s consent and it constitutes another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. On top of that, the bridge hinders the passage of vessels to Ukrainian ports, to the Azov Sea.

Six months ago, Russia started to apply a new inspection regime for cargo vessels coming from Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea or heading towards them. These inspections lead to long delays, which have increased dramatically over the past months. This has direct consequences on shipping costs, not only for Ukrainian exporters but also for vessels flying a European Union Member State flag. So far, more than 200 vessels, under both Ukrainian and international flags, have been affected by these controls by Russia, which in some cases lasted several days.

Even more worrying, tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait have come in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea. Russia has recently started deploying military vessels to the area in significant numbers and Ukraine has partially responded with an increased military presence.

Let me recall that the Azov Sea used to be almost fully demilitarised and that Ukraine and Russia have signed a cooperation agreement on the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. This agreement implies that disputes between the parties are to be resolved through consultations and negotiations. We appreciate that Ukraine is seeking justice in international courts, such as the ongoing case under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

When international law is violated, when Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are violated, the European Union stands by the people of Ukraine. We immediately condemned the construction of the Kerch Bridge without Ukraine’s consent, in July. The Council added six entities involved in the construction of the bridge to the list of those subject to restrictive measures over actions that undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

A militarisation of the Azov Sea is in no one’s interest and it can only destabilise the delicate security situation in the wider Black Sea region. And let me remind us all that the Black Sea is a European sea and we do not want to witness yet another military build-up in our immediate region. So we will continue to push for the respect of international law and conventions, and to support Ukraine in these challenging circumstances. I am sure I can count on the support of this Parliament in this work we are doing.


  Sandra Kalniete, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, Madam Vice-  President/High Representative, blatant violations of international law by the Russian Federation are nothing new. Since 2014, the EU has been able to unite itself in the response to them. But the creeping annexation of the Azov Sea and partial blockade of all the Ukrainian ports is one more serious challenge to our determination to uphold the European peace order. It is a direct concern of EU security and commercial interests, as the financial losses directly concern also EU merchants. But it is obviously more serious than a commercial and legal issue. The situation in Azov gradually turns into one more open conflict waiting to happen. The EU so far has not been up to this challenge, projecting weakness and disinterest rather than strength and determination.

At the very least, you, Madam Vice-President/High Representative, I thank you for the statement you made today and I expect you to join Ukraine in using all diplomatic action and international legal procedures to counter the hostile Russian actions in Oslo.


  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, High Representative, the construction of the Kerch Bridge and the developments in the Sea of Azov are yet another offensive by Russia against the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Ukraine and are a clear violation of international law. It is beyond question that, after the illegal annexation of Crimea, after backing the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, after the suspension of gas supplies and after unlawful elections in the occupied territories and cyber-warfare, that this is an additional move by Russia to destabilise Ukraine from all corners.

The Socialists’ and Democrats’ Group once again stands by Ukraine and calls for EU unity and determination in managing this issue. The situation must be reversed and the governance of navigation in the Sea of Azov must return to the basics of international maritime law. The EU should act as a mediator between Kiev and Moscow and avoid further escalation. It is in the interests of the Member States to have free navigation in the Sea of Azov and to avoid further militarisation there, as has taken place in the Black Sea, placing NATO’s entire eastern flank and the security of Member States, including the Baltic countries, Romania and Bulgaria, heavily at risk.


  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, during the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) mission to, amongst other areas, the eastern part of Ukraine, including Mariupol and Talakivka, we were able to see with our own eyes the gravity of the situation in the Sea of Azov region. The draft joint resolution that we are able to present to Parliament describes precisely this situation. I would like to thank my colleagues for this.

The aggressive posture of the Russian Federation in the Azov Sea area turns our attention to yet another pattern that this country uses to deny access to territories. I am well aware of this. It happens in the Vistula Lagoon in Polish territorial waters. It has happened in many areas close to the Baltic Sea and I would also like to turn the attention of my colleagues to the denial, or partial denial, of access to seaports by Nord Stream 2. It is also an important factor added to this project.


  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, Madam High Representative, more than 10 000 lives have been lost in eastern Ukraine. Almost two million peaceful Ukrainians have had to flee their homes as refugees. As if that were not enough, Putin is continuing and has now moved his offensive to the Sea of Azov. With his personal approval ratings plummeting in Russia, it is only natural that the master of the Kremlin should be looking for more outside enemies. Throughout the ages, this pretext has been well tested by Russian tsars and comrades. Just as Stalin started his political career by robbing bourgeois on Russian trains, so is Putin now raiding Ukrainian and foreign ships, including the ones under EU flags.

If not properly countered in time, sooner or later such hostile practices will be treated by the Kremlin as a sort of approval to be used in other waters. The only response to this blatant violation of bilateral agreements and international law must be additional restrictive measures against an aggressive Kremlin.

The situation in which the illegal bridge is constructed with the participation of EU companies, thus undermining EU restrictive measures, is pathetic and unacceptable. The EU must come up with specific legal instruments to deal with this. We need to have an independent EU legal authority empowered to look into cases where EU companies – or persons or countries – have violated our own decisions in place. Those in the EU found to be in breach of the EU’s sanctions must be penalised themselves.

To conclude, it is regrettable to see how Putin is able to turn everything upside down. Throughout the centuries, people across the globe have been proud of building bridges. And then along comes Putin, who transforms the ‘bridge-building’ narrative into another form of aggression against a neighbour.


  Rebecca Harms, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Frau Mogherini! Die Entwicklung im Asowschen Meer muss im Zusammenhang gesehen werden mit dem, was seit dem russischen Einmarsch und dem Beginn der Besetzung der Krim passiert ist. Russland hat die Krim zu einem großen militärischen Stützpunkt ausgebaut, und diese Entwicklung – die Militarisierung der Krim – ist ja noch lange nicht zu Ende. Deshalb muss das, was viele Kommentatoren als Kanonenbootpolitik Russlands im Asowschen Meer bezeichnen, von uns sehr ernst genommen werden. Ich teile ausdrücklich den Hinweis von Herrn Boştinaru auf unsere Probleme, unsere gemeinsamen Probleme an der östlichen Flanke.

Ich möchte sechs Punkte zur Prüfung vorschlagen: Meiner Meinung nach sollte das Mandat der OSZE auf die Beobachtung der Situation im Asowschen Meer ausgeweitet werden. Meiner Meinung nach muss die Europäische Union unbedingt die rechtliche Position der Ukraine in allen Instanzen – bei der UNO, bei der OSZE und auch vor internationalen Gerichtshöfen – stark und klar unterstützen. Die Europäische Union muss darauf achten, dass es zu keiner technischen und militärischen Zusammenarbeit mit der Russischen Föderation kommt, die möglicherweise auch noch die Operationsfähigkeit der russischen Marine stärkt. Meiner Meinung nach sollte die EU unbedingt prüfen, wie sie mit Projekten die Häfen von Mariupol und Berdjansk stärken kann. Und die EU und die NATO müssen klären, ob sie durch Eskorten und Präsenz in der Region eine weitere Eskalation verhindern können. Neue Sanktionen sollten auf jeden Fall diskutiert werden.


  Jaromír Kohlíček, za skupinu GUE/NGL. – Paní předsedající, Azovské moře je vlastně záliv Černého moře mezi Krymem a jihoruskou stepí. V jeho okolí se rozprostírá krásná černozem a při pohledu z letadla působí velmi idylicky. Zcela jiné dojmy má asi každý, kdo zná jméno jedné ze soukromých armád, batalionu Azov. Likvidace stožárů vysokého napětí přivádějící elektřinu na Krym a přehrazení kanálu přes Perekopskou šíji – to jsou jen dvě ukázky takzvané dobré práce odvedené touto či podobnými jednotkami.

Není mi jasné, které vlády zemí Evropské unie mají zájem na eskalaci napětí v této části světa. Zastavte prosím tyto pokusy o rozpoutání dalšího nesmyslného konfliktu a přispějte k znovunastolení míru v této části světa. Chápu, že pro některé kolegy je Azovské moře daleko, ale uvědomte si, že se jedná o součást Evropy, která je necelou hodinu letu od Rumunska či Bulharska, tedy od území EU. Proto vás žádám, nepřipusťte, aby se tak jako v nedávné minulosti v těchto místech opět tvrdě bojovalo.


  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Haute représentante, la montée des tensions dans la mer d’Azov a une cause simple: la décision des États-Unis, annoncée fin août, d’augmenter leurs livraisons d’armes à l’Ukraine et notamment à sa marine.

L’Ukraine, ce gouvernement en faillite issu d’un coup d’État, voudrait que l’OTAN fasse des manœuvres dans la mer d’Azov, en infraction du traité russo-ukrainien de 2003. Ces décisions montrent que Washington, comme Kiev, cherche un affrontement avec la Russie, au mépris des accords de Minsk.

Une fois de plus, l’Union européenne est complice de cette montée aux extrêmes en soutenant l’OTAN et ses récents exercices militaires en Ukraine. Et nous avons, logiquement, d’une part, la dénonciation par les Ukrainiens de leur traité d’amitié avec la Russie de 1997 et, d’autre part, la dénonciation par les États-Unis du traité qui limite les euromissiles. Tout cela pour faire de l’Europe un nouveau champ d’affrontement nucléaire Est-Ouest.

L’Union européenne dit promouvoir la paix, mais encourage en fait la guerre en Europe.


  Σωτήριος Ζαριανόπουλος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, λίγες ημέρες μετά το ΝΑΤΟ, η κατάσταση στη Θάλασσα του Αζόφ και τη Μαύρη Θάλασσα συζητιέται και στο Ευρωκοινοβούλιο. Ήταν αναμενόμενο. Είναι περιοχή με πηγές και αγωγούς ενέργειας, αλλά και καθοριστικό ρόλο στη στρατιωτική περικύκλωση της Ρωσίας από Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, και με νατοϊκή βάση στα πλαίσια των ανταγωνισμών τους που κλιμακώνονται και με την απόσυρση των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών από τη συμφωνία των πυρηνικών όπλων. Στη μεγάλη εικόνα, στην ίδια στρατηγική εντάσσεται η επέμβαση των ευρω-νατοϊκών στην Ουκρανία, με κυβέρνηση που στηρίζεται και από ναζιστές. Στα Βαλκάνια, με ενίσχυση της παρουσίας τους με την απαράδεκτη συμφωνία των Πρεσπών, ενώ συνεχίζεται η αλλαγή συνόρων, όπως στο Κόσοβο. Προσκαλείται ο νατοϊκός στόλος στο Αιγαίο, δημιουργούνται και άλλες στρατιωτικές βάσεις σε όλη την Ελλάδα από την κυβέρνηση ΣΥΡΙΖΑ-ΑΝΕΛ. Τα μαχαίρια βγήκαν, οι λαοί μπαίνουν σε άμεσους κινδύνους. Μοναδική λύση η αλληλεγγύη, ο κοινός αγώνας ενάντια στη λεηλασία των μονοπωλίων που μια σπίθα τους αρκεί για να ρίξουν τους λαούς και πάλι σε γενικευμένη σύρραξη.


  Michael Gahler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich stelle wieder einmal fest, dass bei der Moskauer Fraktion das Opfer an seiner Situation schuld ist. Ich glaube, das können wir so nicht durchgehen lassen.

Ich glaube, der Freundschaftsvertrag, der seinerzeit geschlossen worden ist, der ist durch die militärische Aggression Russlands schon obsolet gewesen. Wir sollten prüfen, ob das Abkommen von 2003, das das Asowsche Meer zu einer Art Binnensee zwischen der Ukraine und Russland erklärte, vielleicht die rechtliche Position der Ukraine schwächt und ob nicht UNCLOS, also die internationalen Regelungen, besser sind für die rechtliche Stellung der Ukraine.

Wir müssen gegenüber Moskau darauf bestehen, dass unsere Handelsschiffe dort nicht mehr als erforderlich kontrolliert werden und dass die Wartezeiten dort nicht mehr eintreten, denn Zeit ist Geld. Wir haben unsere Schiffe, die dort auf Reede liegen und warten, dass sie kontrolliert werden, zu unterstützen und fordern Russland auf, die bisherige Praxis zu beenden.


  Knut Fleckenstein (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich kann mich den meisten Rednern hier im Hause nur anschließen. Ich glaube auch, dass wir eine ganz klare Haltung zu dem, was dort im Asowschen Meer passiert, zeigen müssen. Es geht nicht um irgendein bilaterales Problem, sondern es geht um internationales Recht. Es geht um unsere Solidarität mit den Menschen in der Ukraine. Es ist unser ureigenstes Interesse, dass die Schiffe unter EU-Flagge dort nicht über Gebühr gepiesackt werden. Deshalb ist es völlig richtig, dass wir die Hohe Vertreterin bitten, mit all ihren Möglichkeiten für eine Verbesserung der Situation dort einzutreten.

Nicht erschrecken, Rebecca Harms, ich würde die ersten vier der sechs Punkte sofort unterschreiben. Ich bin froh, dass wir nicht gleich wieder reflexhaft zu Sanktionen gegriffen haben. Aber die russische Seite muss wissen: Wir meinen es ernst. Wir wollen gerne reden, aber Recht bleibt Recht.


  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Madam President, High Representative, the tensions in the Sea of Azov are yet another example of Russia’s expansionist campaign to destabilise Ukraine politically and economically. Since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in the Black Sea in 2014, Ukraine’s Azov ports, principally Mariupol, are now responsible for handling 80% of the country’s maritime exports. Journeys that before could be made in a day are now taking up to a week, as the result of Russian restrictions. Russia seeks to defend many of these as being necessary for the security of the newly constructed Kerch Bridge linking mainland Russia to Crimea, the construction of which is, in itself, a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Therefore, I welcome the Council’s decision to extend restrictive measures to entities involved in its construction. With ever-increasing militarisation of the Sea of Azov, we must ensure that this cannot become a flashpoint for further conflict in future. NATO recently highlighted the need to continue with the political support that the alliance is offering to Ukraine, helping to modernise the Ukrainian armed forces and security institutions.


  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, je crois que les intentions de la Russie sont claires: elle tente de détériorer la situation sociale et économique dans le sud-est de l’Ukraine et de créer des conditions propices à la mise en place d’un futur corridor terrestre menant à la Crimée.

En effet, je crois que le Kremlin ne se contente plus de l’intégration forcée de la péninsule, de son isolement de l’Ukraine; maintenant la Russie veut aussi obtenir le contrôle intégral de la mer d’Azov. Ce faisant, elle ne se gêne pas pour entraver, entre autres, le commerce international. Je pense par exemple aux inspections aléatoires des services de sécurité russes, lesquels causes des retards et coûtent des dizaines de milliers d’euros aux bateaux européens, notamment aux bateaux roumains et bulgares.

Dans ce contexte, je crois que nous devons être unis et aider les partenaires ukrainiens à utiliser tous les canaux diplomatiques et légaux pour faire face à ces pressions russes.


  Neena Gill (S&D). – Madam President, Madam High Representative, not satisfied by annexing Crimea and supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine, Russia is now trying to choke Ukraine’s economy. Russia’s blockade is impeding civilian and maritime traffic, against international law. I fear military force will neither prevent a potential invasion nor de-escalate the situation, so therefore, High Representative, I urge you, if you have a moment to listen, to engage in mediating in this crisis and to revive a serious peace process.

With Ukraine’s election campaign soon in full swing, time is of the essence. Both sides will soon expect more political gain from further escalation. So my questions to you, High Representative, are: are you considering a UN maritime peacekeeping operation to maintain freedom of maritime movement in the Sea of Azov? Maybe a neutral third country could be responsible or involved. Secondly, reducing tensions at sea could help restart a process for the political situation in Donbass.


  Tunne Kelam (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to thank High Representative Mogherini for a very clear and strong statement based on principles, and this is an ideal point for Parliament to support this.

Systematically stopping merchant vessels in the Sea of Azov sea gives a signal that Russia is unilaterally expanding its control there. We can see it as a creeping attempt to annex the waters of Azov and turn the sea into a sort of Russian internal lake, and this in a situation where most of Ukraine’s exports are passing through the Azov Sea ports.

Russia’s overtures to expanding its control over Ukrainian territories and borders in this indirect but systematic way are most alarming. In this situation, the EU is once more called upon to demonstrate its strong, unanimous and unconditional support for Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.


  Francisco Assis (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Alta Comissária Federica Mogherini, com a sua atuação agressiva no mar de Azov, que atenta, uma vez mais, contra a soberania da Ucrânia e, em particular, com a construção de uma ponte no estreito de Kerch, que restringe a navegação nessas águas, a Rússia reincide no seu projeto de desestabilização geopolítica e de desafio às regras internacionais.

Temos consciência de que as sanções até agora aplicadas ainda não produziram os efeitos desejados. Apesar disso, não é possível reagir às ações disruptivas da Rússia apenas com declarações políticas, pelo que são pertinentes as medidas restritivas anunciadas pelo Conselho contra algumas entidades envolvidas na construção da ponte de Kerch.

A União Europeia deve apoiar e encorajar a via jurídica que Kiev está a explorar, nomeadamente, a queixa apresentada por este país no âmbito da Convenção da ONU sobre o Direito do Mar. Na mesma linha, faz todo o sentido a proposta de reforçar o mandato da missão especial de monitorização da OSCE, de modo a que esta cubra também as tensões no mar de Azov.

A União Europeia deve adotar, assim, uma postura enérgica, retaliando com medidas concretas, sempre com o cuidado de desencorajar decisões, de ambas as partes, que possam conduzir a uma escalada militar, mas sem hesitar no seu apoio àquela que é, indiscutivelmente, a parte mais fraca, a Ucrânia.


  Dariusz Rosati (PPE). – Madam President, here we are again, speaking about the threat posed by Russia. The security of the Azov Sea is linked to the security of the Black Sea and EU security in general, not only Ukraine. The further militarisation of the Azov Sea area, the construction of the Kerch Bridge without the consent of Ukraine and the restrictions on maritime transport once more show that Russia wants to undermine the sovereignty of Ukraine and test how far it can go before the EU can react.

As President Putin does not seem to be really interested in dialogue, I urge the Member States and the EU to act. First, we need to extend the sanctions to include the companies that use this infamous Kerch Bridge as well. Such illegal actions cannot bring economic benefits to Russia. Secondly, the Mariupol region still needs more assistance from the EU, especially now while it is under even more military and economic pressure from Russia.


  Othmar Karas (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Vizepräsidentin der Kommission, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Ich begrüße es ausdrücklich, dass wir in diesem Fall auch Situationen diskutieren, die sich in der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung kaum wiederfinden, aber eine äußerst wichtige geopolitische Bedeutung haben. Das zunehmend aggressive und protektionistische Verhalten Russlands im Asowschen Meer ist eine solche und eine Weiterführung der Expansionspolitik, die wir in den letzten Jahren erlebt haben und die wir auf das Schärfste verurteilen.

Heute ist es bittere Realität, was wir am Beginn des Baus der Brücke über die Straße von Kertsch 2016 absehen konnten: Die flächendeckenden und gezielten Kontrollen von Schiffen auch unter europäischer Flagge führen zu kostspieligen Verzögerungen und sind einzig und allein dem langfristigen Ziel Russlands geschuldet, den internationalen Handel in den ukrainischen Häfen zum Erliegen zu bringen.

Wir müssen dafür Sorge tragen, dass die Destabilisierung der Region gestoppt wird. Russland muss sich an das Seerechtsübereinkommen der Vereinten Nationen halten, seinen Verpflichtungen unter internationalem Recht nachkommen und die Kontrollen aufheben, damit der freie Verkehr von Waren wiederhergestellt werden kann.


  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Madam President, the quiet escalation of the situation in the Sea of Azov over the past year requires our utmost attention. First of all, while ignoring international law on close and bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia, Russia proceeded with the construction of the Kerch Bridge. This constitutes yet another violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and aims at limiting economic activity in Ukrainian ports. The recent concert of illegal activities might have a trade character, but it has the clear political objectives to endanger Ukrainian ports and solidify Russian economic and military presence in the Azov Sea, and by extension the Black Sea, and to transform the Azov Sea into an internal lake of the Russian Federation.

We have to be clear and vocal in our opposition to these activities. Our condemnation should concern also the overall intensification of the military presence in the Black Sea, otherwise we risk the opening of yet another front in our neighbourhood, this time with maritime dimensions. This should be prevented.


  Jaromír Štětina (PPE). – Paní předsedající, dámy a pánové, jako výsledek ruských operací a blokád lodí došlo za poslední období k poklesu zisků ukrajinských azovských přístavů Mariupol a Berdiansk o 30 %. Po nelegální anexi Krymu je až 80 % ukrajinského exportu nyní vedeno přes tyto přístavy. Ruské akce na Azovském moři mají jednoznačný cíl. Dále ekonomicky a sociálně rozvrátit Ukrajinu. Vojenské cíle jsou však ještě závažnější. Dochází k budování pozic k možnému útoku na Ukrajinu. Ruská armáda buduje v Azovském moři na okupovaném území námořní základnu, která se jmenuje Obryv. Proti nezákonným operacím Ruska na Azovském moři je nutné důrazně zakročit. Dalšímu vyostření situace můžeme zamezit mezinárodní námořní operací pod vedením Spojených národů nebo EU či uvalením sankcí na ruské přístavy v Azovském moři. Ukrajina nemůže zůstat osamocena.


  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). – Gerbiama Pirmininke, tai, ką Rusija išdirbinėja Azovo jūroje, yra agresijos prieš Ukrainą tąsa. Dėl Rusijos veiksmų Kerčės sąsiauryje nuostolius patiria ne tik ES valstybių narių – Rumunijos, Bulgarijos ir kitų, bet ir Turkijos laivai. Tai Rusijos vykdoma jūrų blokada, kurios tikslas – sukelti dar didesnę įtampą regione, be to, ir dar didesnių ekonominių nuostolių Ukrainai. Mariupolio ir Berdiansko uostai – du pagrindiniai Ukrainos plieno ir grūdų eksporto uostai Azovo jūroje. Jų patiriami nuostoliai yra milžiniški. Ukraina svarsto nutraukti nuo 2003-ųjų metų galiojantį dvišalį susitarimą su Rusija dėl Azovo jūros statuso ir naudojimo, nes šis susitarimas dėl mūsų svarstomų Rusijos veiksmų nebetenka prasmės. Tuomet galiotų tarptautinė jūrų teisė, o mes, Europos Sąjunga, turėtume užtikrinti jos reikalavimų laikymąsi. Jei ne – sankcijos Rusijai, dar griežtesnės negu iki šiol. Turėtume skirti daugiau dėmesio tam regionui ir Azovo jūros militarizavimui.


  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). – Madam President, the Russian activities in the Sea of Azov are, of course, illegal actions against Ukraine, they are part of the warfare against Ukraine. But they are more than that. This is a violation of the freedom of the seas: it violates international laws; it is a demonstration that Russia does not respect the order of the international community. It is an action against us all. It is an action against European sea vessels. And, of course, we need to react because if we can’t demonstrate to Russia that it is not acceptable for it to break international laws in the Sea of Azov we are opening the way to further such action by Russia in other parts of the world and also directed at the European Union and its Member States.

Madam President, High Commissioner, we need to be firm regarding sanctions and firm in telling the Russians that we do not accept this – not in the Sea of Azov and not anywhere else.


Pyynnöstä myönnettävät puheenvuorot


  José Inácio Faria (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Alta Representante, uma vez mais nos encontramos aqui para falar de um país e de um povo caído na pior das misérias, a desintegração de uma nação inteira.

Desde a anexação ilegal da Crimeia em março de 2014, temos vindo a assistir a uma constante militarização de toda a zona e a um sem número de agressões russas que visam o estrangulamento económico da Crimeia e a desestabilização da Ucrânia. O que se passa no mar de Azov faz parte dessa estratégia. Depois de devastar o turismo e a agricultura, bases da economia da Crimeia, o senhor Putin pretende agora expandir o seu controlo sobre o comércio e a navegação do mar de Azov, bloqueando os navios comerciantes que tentam chegar aos portos de Mariupol e Berdyansk.

O que se passa no estreito de Kerch ameaça não apenas a segurança da Ucrânia, mas também a liberdade de circulação da NATO na zona da estabilidade política da região do Mar Negro onde, aliás, a Rússia realiza regularmente, e de forma provocatória, exercícios militares de larga escala.

Senhora Alta Representante, há necessidade de assegurar a efetiva implementação das medidas restritivas acordadas no Conselho Europeu, e a Ucrânia, mais do que nunca, neste momento, precisa de nós, europeus. Muito obrigado.


  Mark Demesmaeker (ECR). – Voorzitter, vandaag lopen de Oost-Oekraïense havens leeg. Poetin heeft besloten om na de illegale annexatie van de Krim, ook de Zee van Azov te militariseren, de facto in te nemen.

De voorbije maanden zoekt Poetin opnieuw het conflict op met buurland Oekraïne om het verder te destabiliseren. Na de aanleg van de Krimbrug over de Straat van Kertsj vindt hij het dus tijd om zijn invloedssfeer op zee uit te breiden. En keer op keer lapt Rusland elke internationale regel aan zijn laars. Dat hij zo de Europese Unie tegen zich in het harnas jaagt, deert hem niet.

Mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, de spanningen stijgen aan de fragiele achterpoort van de Europese Unie. Het minste incident kan het vuur aan de lont steken. En de mogelijke gevolgen voor zowel Oekraïne als de Europese Unie zijn niet te overzien.

Ik vond het een interessant debat en ik steun de concrete voorstellen van onder andere collega Rebecca Harms, die zij hier heeft gedaan. En ik steun u, mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, bij de druk die u uitoefent op de Russische Federatie, bij elke diplomatieke druk die u daar uitoefent. Ik reken erop dat u dat met de nodige daadkracht en met de nodige duidelijkheid zult doen.


  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, για μια ακόμη φορά, υπάρχει ένταση στις σχέσεις της Ρωσίας με την Ουκρανία, λόγω των γεγονότων που συμβαίνουν στην Αζοφική Θάλασσα. Η Ουκρανία κατηγορεί τη Ρωσία ότι με ελέγχους παρεμποδίζει την πρόσβαση προς τους λιμένες της Αζοφικής Θάλασσας, τους ουκρανικούς λιμένες, των εμπορικών πλοίων που διέρχονται τα Στενά του Κέρτς. Βεβαίως και αυτή, από την δική της πλευρά, έχει κρατήσει ένα ρωσικό αλιευτικό και ένα δεξαμενόπλοιο. Παράλληλα, έχει αυξήσει τη ναυτική της παρουσία στην Αζοφική Θάλασσα με δύο κανονιοφόρους και μέχρι τέλος του έτους σχεδιάζει να δημιουργήσει και μια ναυτική βάση στην περιοχή.

Αυτή η ένταση μοιραίως εμπλέκει και τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες οι οποίες, θέλοντας να εξυπηρετήσουν τα στρατηγικά τους συμφέροντα, προσπαθούν να περιορίσουν τη Ρωσία και να μην της επιτρέψουν να τροφοδοτεί με ενέργεια και τις χώρες της Μέσης Ανατολής, αλλά και κάποιες χώρες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως. Όλη αυτή η κατάσταση μπορεί να ξεφύγει εύκολα από τον έλεγχο, διότι ας μην ξεχνάμε ότι η Θάλασσα του Αζόφ αποτελεί τη μόνη ναυτική πρόσβαση της Ρωσίας προς τον Νότο.


  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Paní předsedající, já chci velmi uvítat tu dnešní debatu, která byla mimořádně zajímavá a je do určité míry odpovědí těm všem, kteří v Evropě zpochybňují sankce vůči Rusku a kteří tvrdí, že by se sankce měly zrušit. Sám v České republice, odkud jsem, cítím u některých extremistických politických sil, že bychom měli vůči Rusku vystupovat vstřícněji. Ta dnešní debata jasně ukazuje, že naopak EU musí být razantnější, musí být tvrdší a že situace v Azovském moři, která zde dnes byla popisována, je další formou agrese vůči Ukrajině. Tentokrát je to v zásadě určitá forma obchodní blokády, která výrazně omezuje formu vývozu ukrajinského zboží z ukrajinských přístavů. Tedy připojuji se k těm, vážená paní vysoká představitelko, kteří Vás prosí o tvrdý přístup vůči Rusku. Není možné v této věci zaujímat kompromisy, které poškozují Ukrajinu a hodnoty a postoje EU.


  József Nagy (PPE). – Tisztelt Elnök Asszony! Kedves Mogherini asszony! Köszönöm a kercsi híd építésével kialakult helyzetről szóló beszámolóját. Szerintem a Fekete-tenger egy európai tenger, az Azovi-tenger pedig a Fekete-tenger leválaszthatatlan része, amit Oroszország nem sajátíthat ki magának egyoldalúan, akár egy híd megépítése ürügyén sem.

Ez nemcsak Ukrajna, de a többi EU-s és nem EU-s országnak is sérti az érdekeit. Nagyon röviden csak azt szeretném elmondani, hogy támogatom a javaslatot, a helyzet megfigyelését, azt, hogy az Európai Bizottság küldjön ki szakértői csoportot, amely kiértékeli a konkrét gazdasági következményeket. Mérjék fel a közlekedés akadályozásának, az időhúzásnak, a kereskedelmi hajók molesztálásának a költségeit, és számolják ki azt is, hogy az ukrán kikötők forgalmának mennyi a csökkenése. Úgy gondolom, hogy ezek az adatok még jók lehetnek az Oroszországgal való tárgyalásainkban.


(Pyynnöstä myönnettävät puheenvuorot päättyvät)


  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, I am here also for the next debate so I will continue. First of all, let me thank the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) and all its members, and in particular Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, for the work done in this regard, the visits made and the previous exchange of views we had. That was not with me personally but with our services, on 11 October, and, it helped to prepare for this plenary and helped with the work we are constantly doing on this issue.

Keeping the focus on this is essential, for different reasons, and the speakers all mentioned them. First of all, for our principles and values; and then for Ukraine’s sovereignty, and also for the economy – both that of Ukraine and that of the European Union, as the speakers have emphasised – and for our collective security. I think we have many good reasons for keeping a close eye on what is happening in the Sea of Azov and we will continue to react appropriately and in a united manner. For this, the support of Parliament will continue to be key.

Let me assure you, too, that part of the next EU-Ukraine Association Council that I will chair in a couple of months from now – together, I believe, with the Ukrainian Prime Minister – will also focus on to how to address this issue in the best possible manner, and what kind of support the European Union can give to Ukraine in this context. Among other issues on which we are supporting Ukraine, this is also extremely important.

I would like quickly to touch upon a couple of points that were raised, not probably all of them, but a couple of them. Some of you referred to the need to uphold international principles, including the international courts and legislation. As I said at the beginning, we appreciate that Ukraine is seeking justice in the international courts. You know that there is an ongoing case under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). So we trust the international courts, and in this case UNCLOS, as we always do, upholding international jurisdictions.

The second point concerns the sanctions. As I mentioned before, we included new persons on our sanctions list in relation to the construction of the bridge. Some of you referred to the implementation of these sanctions. As you know very well, it is for the European Council, in unanimity, to adopt the sanctions and measures, but then it is for Member States to monitor their implementation and to take appropriate measures if needed. Obviously, as the Commission, we have our own say in pushing this monitoring of implementation by Member States, but it is very much an issue that lies in their hands.

We will continue to assess the situation and the developments in the Sea of Azov. We will continue to count on the support of this Parliament and all the relevant committees to continue to build a united effort and policy and to work with our Ukrainian friends to invest in their resilience as much as we can.


  Puhemies. – Olen vastaanottanut viisi työjärjestyksen 123 artiklan 2 kohdan mukaisesti käsiteltäväksi jätettyä päätöslauselmaesitystä.

Keskustelu on päättynyt.

Äänestys toimitetaan torstaina 25.10.2018.

Last updated: 11 January 2019Legal notice - Privacy policy