On the “escort” of two ships of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, the Russian Federation threw more than 10 ships of the FSB and the Black Sea Fleet and aviation.
On September 23, search and rescue ship “Donbass” and the tugboat “Korets” of the Ukrainian Navy passed the Kerch Strait, thereby realizing their right to free navigation on the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov under the UN Convention and international agreements.
According to the norms of the 2003 agreement, the Azov Sea is the inland sea of the two countries (Ukraine and the Russian Federation). This document separately states that military and civilian ships under the “own” (Ukrainian and Russian) flags can pass through the Kerch Strait without hindrance.
The Ukrainian side did not warn the Russian Federation of the intention to transfer military vessels to the Sea of Azov, only in the evening the press service of the VMSU reported that Donbass and Korets were sent to carry out a combat mission to ensure the safety of building a new Navy base in the Azov Sea. It is assumed that this base will be based on combat boats of the Ukrainian Navy, which will be used to escort Ukrainian and international vessels and prevent the Russian authorities from inspecting them.
In the FSB, such actions of the Ukrainian military are regarded as “the entry of two ships of the Ukrainian Navy into the exclusive economic space of the Russian Federation.” According to representatives of the FSB, ships were sent to the ships for escort.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Facebook published photographs showing 9 “escort” vessels and two Su-27 fighter jets.
Arrival of Ukrainian ships to the destination is expected on September 24. Now they are guarded by two combat boats of the Ukrainian Navy and the American reconnaissance plane Boeing RC-135V.
Most likely, such an action was carried out after numerous attempts by the Russian Federation to stop the trading vessels in the Ukrainian ports of the Azov Sea: since May 2018, the Russian Federation forces have detained more than 100 ships. From August 14 to August 21, not a single vessel was allowed to enter the Azov Sea, and on September 1 another prolonged detention took place – the Odessa Bulker Amadore was ” checked ” by the FSB of Russia for more than 10 hours.