WASHINGTON, November 30. /TASS/. Washington insists on the return of Ukrainian sailors, detained by Russia for violating its national border, Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters on Thursday.
“The President’s tweets on the subject were quite clear at what we looked for, and that is the return of the Ukrainian sailors as – and the vessels. The aggression that we’ve witnessed this week is unacceptable and a strong message has been sent,” the official said when asked to comment on the issue.
When asked to clarify what the essence of the message was, Palladino replied briefly: “Isolation.”
According to the Department of State official, the United States and its “European partners from NATO, OSCE, European Union have all issued strong statements.”
“There have been emergency sessions that have taken place. There are – there is a coalescing of opposition and strong condemnation for the aggression that we have witnessed,” he said. “We are going to continue to drive forward on this and to be firm in our position.”
US President Donald Trump wrote in a Twitter post on Thursday evening that he decided to cancel a bilateral meeting with the Russian president on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires due to the recent incident in the Kerch Strait. The announcement, in fact, was contrary to the US president’s own statement made about an hour earlier, when he told reporters that the talks were not terminated and “it’s a very good time to have a meeting.”
Earlier, Trump said his the final decision would depend on a report from his advisors on national security and foreign policy regarding the incident in the Kerch Strait. On November 25, Russia had to use force and detain three Ukrainian warships that violated the rules of passage via the Kerch Strait that connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Three Ukrainian servicemen were slightly injured, the ships were convoyed to the Russian port of Kerch in Crimea. A criminal case was launched on charges of violating the Russian border.
Moscow described the incident as a provocation, Ukraine introduced a martial law in ten regions, while the European Union and NATO called for de-escalation.
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