On November 25, 2018, Ukrainian Naval vessels were attacked by Russian forces as they were departing from the area of the Kerch Strait and moving back into the Black Sea. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced that “Russian special forces have taken over some [Ukrainian] ships.” Over a half-dozen Ukrainian service members have been injured, and up to 20 are being held captive by Russian forces.
This was a premeditated and deliberate act of aggression against Ukraine by Russia. This latest attack is prohibited by the Minsk agreements and this violation warrants the strengthening of targeted economic sanctions against the Russian Federation until they fully comply with their international obligations.
The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO the peak body for Ukrainians in Australia ) joins with other members of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) calling upon the Australian Government and the international community to voice their strong condemnation of such attacks and immediately take the following decisive measures:
- Demand that Russia immediately release all Ukrainian prisoners of war as well as over 70 Ukrainian political prisoners illegally jailed in Russian custody
- Immediately block Russian president Vladimir Putin from attending the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit on 30 November – 1 December
- Call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to condemn Russia’s actions
The AFUO has consistently maintained that it is in the national security of the international community to assist Ukraine in defense of its national security and territorial integrity and in its efforts to institutionalise democratic and economic reforms.
The AFUO calls on the Australian Government to
- Demand withdrawal of covert and overt Russian forces and equipment from Ukraine and compliance with cease-fire agreements
- Significantly strengthen sanctions – and specifically sectoral sanctions – against the Russian Federation for this latest brazen act of aggression against Ukraine’s sovereignty, including banning Russia from the SWIFT international payments system
- Respond to the changes to Ukraine’s Constitution regarding the strategic course for obtaining full membership of Ukraine in the EU and NATO with increased military and economic support
“This blatant act by Russia needs to be dealt with swiftly . President Putin must feel the full brunt of international condemnation”.
AFUO Chairman Stefan Romaniw said from Kyiv.
The AFUO has written to ‘The Hon Senator Marise Payne Australian Minister Foreign Minister calling on the Australia to call for the immediate release of the political prisoners and express its condemnation of Russia’s action.
Further information Stefan Romaniw +380977486182
Kyiv, 26 November 2018