Denmark backs Ukraine in Crimea drama

Foreign minister condemns Russia for “aggressive” behaviour in Kerch Strait

The already fragile relationship between Russia and Ukraine was further imperiled yesterday following a drama involving their ships at the Kerch Strait near the Crimea Peninsula.

The foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, has expressed concern over the situation and underlined that Denmark is in full support of Ukraine.

“Denmark clearly and unambiguously supports Ukraine and we urge the Russians to halt their aggression. We must see to the de-escalation of the situation, and Russia has a big responsibility in doing so,” Samuelsen told DR Nyheder.

“It’s a very concerning development and there is little doubt that there is a risk of the situation escalating.”

READ MORE: Danish Defence: Russian ship did not breach hazardous goods rules

UN discussing situation
The instance occurred when Russian vessels fired upon and subsequently took control of three Ukrainian vessels that were trying to move a pilot boat and two smaller armoured ships from Odessa through the Kerch Strait to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov. The narrow strait was then blockaded by the Russians.

The Russians have claimed that the Ukrainian ships were illegally sailing in Russian waters and that it was an act of provocation perpetrated by the Ukrainian government.

The UN Security Council has called for an extraordinary meeting today to discuss the conflict. Denmark will await the results of that meeting before deciding on further action.