U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
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.