Atlantic Council fellow says US should send ships to Azov Sea (illegally) after Kerch standoff…(These Freaks Want A War!!)

Monday, November 26, 2018
By Paul Martin
26 Nov, 2018

A senior fellow at the pro-NATO Atlantic Council has said the US should send naval ships into the Sea of Azov to guarantee it stays open after a skirmish between Russian and Ukrainian ships. Only problem is, that would be illegal.

Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist who lives in Washington D.C. and works for the avidly anti-Russia think tank, implored the US and NATO to “react sharply” to what he called “the illegal Russian blockade of the international Sea of Azov.”

Aslund’s suggestion came after Russia opened fire on and seized three Ukrainian navy boats on Sunday, accusing them of breaching the Russian maritime border.

The Ukranian vessels were sailing between two Ukrainian ports: from Odessa in the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Azov Sea. The only waterway that connects these is the Kerch Strait between Crimea and mainland Russia. Kiev says it notified Moscow in advance that its navy ships would be sailing through the area. Moscow denies that it was given warning.

While both Russia and Ukraine have freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait under a 2003 treaty, there are detailed technical rules on how vessels should pass through the narrow, complex waterway. All traffic in the area is controlled by the Crimean sea port of Kerch, and every ship should contact the facility, report her route and destination, and receive permission to sail through the Strait.

Unfortunately for the Swedish economist, though he tweets with all the authority of someone who was on the ships in question himself, it seems he is lacking in this basic knowledge about the legality of his proposal.

Luckily, chief foreign affairs correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Yaroslav Trofimov, stepped in to help out, tweeting that aside from the “practical risks” which might arise from US ships rushing into the kerfuffle, it would also be “illegal without Russian permission.”

The Rest…HERE

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