Date: 4 months ago   Category: Society

The attack of the Russian Federation on Azov reminds the Russian provocations before war with Georgia - Atlantic Council

Escalation of tension between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov reminds the Russian provocations which led to a war with Georgia in the summer of 2008, the observer of Atlantic Council Ashish Kumar Seong writes.

"Within several months the Russian armed forces worked on making the Sea of Azov an internal Russian reservoir, with the purpose to block access to east Ukrainian ports and to fix positions of Moscow in the Crimea", - the vice president of Atlantic Council Damon Wilson commented.

"Incremental approach of Moscow is similar to "creeping annexation" which we observed in Georgia in 2008: not each step is essential, but all of them in total give to Russia strategic benefits. The purpose of today's Russian escalation - to intimidate Ukraine that it ceased to defend the access to these international waters and ports", - he added.

Tension between Kiev and Moscow amplified on November 25 after the Russian ship rammed the road tow of "Yana Kapu" of Naval Forces of AFU which accompanied by bronekater Berdyansk and Nikopol followed from Odessa to Mariupol. Besides, the Russian frontier guards attacked and seized two boats and the road tow of the Navies Armed Ukraine. All three vessels as a result of firing by Russians lost the course. Six Ukrainian seamen were wounded. Moscow, in turn, stated that the Ukrainian vessels passed through its territorial waters without the permission. The president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko reported about intentions to introduce to the Verkhovna Rada the draft resolution on introduction of martial law for a period of 60 days in connection with the Russian armed aggression on Azov.

"This situation seems to those who keeps up with Kremlin policy in its region dangerously to the acquaintance", - the director of the Center of Eurasia told Atlantic Council John Herbst, having noted that "Moscow made provocations against Georgia for many years. They included flights of military planes, missile strikes, and firing at an internal line of demarcation of Georgia. All this led to the Russian-Georgian war of 2008".

the Senior research associate of Atlantic Council Michael Carpenter said that hijacking of the Ukrainian ships by Russia is a part of more large-scale strategy for achievement of control over the Sea of Azov.

"This step is obvious violation of international law which brings the Russian aggression to new level", - he emphasized.

Reaction to escalation of the conflict
according to Carpenter, the United States have to "react immediately, having provided to Ukraine radar stations and anti-ship missiles".

"the USA also should inflict sanctions and to completely freeze assets at least of one large Russian bank, such as Sberbank, VTB or Gazprombank. Pressure upon the Kremlin has to proceed until Russia does not disengage troops from Donbass and will not cease to block access to the Ukrainian ports", - he said.

Senior research associate of Council Anders Aslund darling



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