Last Sunday, Russia detained three Ukrainian Navy vessels and their 24 crewmembers after they violated Russia’s maritime borders and were engaged in dangerous manoeuvres in and around the Kerch Strait, an entrance to the Sea of Azov.
Former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has described the Kerch Strait incident as an attempt by Kiev to draw Germany into a war over Ukraine.
He expressed hope that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would succeed in encouraging Ukraine and Russia to normalize bilateral relations, given that it was Merkel who along with former French President Francois Hollande, prevented the conflict in eastern Ukraine from further flaring up several years ago.
Poroshenko Wants NATO to Send Warships to Black Sea After Kerch Strait Incident
Gabriel also urged US President Donald Trump not to distance himself from the Kerch Strait row, saying it wouldn’t deter further escalation.
In addition, Gabriel criticized Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for calling for NATO ships to be sent to the Black Sea, as well as the closure of international ports for Russian ships coming from the Sea of Azov.
“The only way out of this completely hopeless conflict is to establish a truce, achieve heavy weapons withdrawal from both sides and then take the…