"I call on the EU countries to move from declarations to real steps and to take all necessary measures to influence on the aggressor, including strengthening sanctions, in order to stop the "creeping annexation" by Russia of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait, and restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine," the president wrote on social media on Nov. 28, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.
"[I'm] looking forward to a firm, consolidated response with the assessment of the aggressor's criminal behavior by the G7 countries," he said.
He also said he is grateful to the European allies for long-awaited position in defense of Ukraine and condemnation of the use of force by Russia against Ukrainian sailors in the Black Sea and the Kerch Strait water area in defiance of bilateral agreements and international law.
"We appreciate the European Union's consolidated appeal to the Kremlin to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Ukrainian sailors and ships, as well as unhindered and free passage through the Kerch Strait in accordance with international law," he said.
The Ukrainian president says that the Kremlin's active global disinformation campaign for making Ukraine responsible for the Kerch incident has failed.
"By the joint efforts of the President, the Government, the Parliament, the entire diplomatic corps and diaspora, we managed to bring to the international community the truth about the Russia's act of aggression against Ukraine, about the inhuman sea chase on Ukrainian sailors, and yet another cynic crime of the Kremlin," he said.
On Nov. 25, Russian border vessels committed aggressive actions against three Ukrainian ships that set sail from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol in the Azov Sea. After that, Russian special forces opened fire on the Ukrainian tugboat Yany Kapu, small armored artillery boats Berdiansk and Nikopol in the Kerch Strait and seized them. There were 23 sailors on board the ships, and six of them were wounded.
Russia announced its intention to try detained Ukrainian sailors for allegedly illegal crossing of the Russian state border.
On Nov. 26, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on the situation in Ukraine related to the latest developments in the Black and Azov Seas.
On Nov. 28, the Russian rubberstamp district court of Simferopol city in Crimea arrested 24 Ukrainian sailors, who had been captured by Russian FSB in the Kerch Strait, for two months.