You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

NATO treads carefully in Ukraine-Russia sea spat

AFP  |  Brussels 

on Monday demanded end its naval standoff with Ukraine, but refused to pledge new support for Kiev, as the alliance sought to avoid escalating the crisis.

Foreign ministers from the 29 allies will meet Ukraine's on Tuesday to discuss last week's incident in the Sea of Azov, in which the seized three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors.

Ministers will also the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which has announced it will abandon in response to Russian violations, with promising a "measured, proportionate" response.

European leaders used weekend meetings in to press Russian over the spat, but Western powers are wary of taking steps that might inflame the situation.

Ukraine's looks likely to be disappointed in his call for to deploy naval vessels to the Sea of Azov, an offshoot of the

repeated a call for to release the sailors and ships and allow unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the

He said he expected ministers to "convey a very clear message to Russia" but refused to offer any fresh practical support measures for Kiev, simply outlining the ways has raised its profile in the

"NATO has already increased our presence in the -- significantly more days with NATO ships at sea this year than last year, and we have more air policing... more presences in the Black Sea in general," Stoltenberg told reporters.

"We will of course closely monitor the situation in that region also in light of what we saw a few days ago."

Last week's incident was the first open confrontation between and since 2014, when annexed the and pro-Kremlin separatists in the east entered into conflict with Ukrainian forces.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, December 03 2018. 19:55 IST