The Russian maneuver against Ukrainian ships off the Crimea has led to a significant reaction in the UN Security Council. US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, spoke of an „arrogant act that the international community must condemn“.
The incident was a „scandalous violation“ of Ukrainian sovereignty, said the 46-year-old Republican at an emergency meeting of the panel. The repeated „lawless acts“ of Russia made it impossible for America’s President Donald Trump to build a normal relationship with Moscow. Trump himself told reporters that he did not like the incidents between Russia and Ukraine. He works with the Europeans and hopes the matter will be resolved.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to release the confiscated Ukrainian ships immediately and release their crews. For now, Russia did not respond and accused Ukraine of trying to provoke a conflict with its Western allies. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko issued a decree to impose martial law from Wednesday to prepare the country for the defense against a possible Russian „invasion“. The parliament agreed in the evening, the military is already in full alert. First, the war status is to last 30 days.
Stoltenberg joined Ukraine and declared that all members of the military alliance had backed Poroshenko’s country and its territorial integrity, including the current and future European members of the UN Security Council – Germany, Britain, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Italy. Ukraine is not in NATO, but aspires to membership.
„Russia must not be allowed to rewrite history and create new realities on the ground,“ UK Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen said during the meeting. „What we saw yesterday was very serious,“ summarized Stoltenberg. Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned Poroshenko. In the conversation she expressed her concern about the situation and stressed the need for de-escalation and dialogue.