The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) condemns the military attack on 25 November 2018 by Russian Federation warships on Ukrainian navy ships carrying out a planned and routine maritime operation in the Sea of Azov. In the attack, weapons were used against the sailors, and according to preliminary information, six Ukrainian sailors were injured, two of them severely. The Ukrainian ships were seized and sailors were arrested.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated, “We have irrefutable evidence that this aggression, this attack on the Ukrainian Navy’s warships was not a mistake, not an accident, but a targeted action, including as regards the use of weapons against Ukrainian sailors, which had severe consequences.”
The UWC calls for the international community to:
Take every available measure to secure the immediate release by the Russian Federation of all Ukrainian sailors illegally arrested in this military attack and their seized ships;
Significantly strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation for this latest brazen act of aggression against Ukraine’s sovereignty, including banning the Russian Federation from the SWIFT international payments system;
Immediately rescind the Russian Federation’s invitation to the G-20 Summit to be held in Argentina 30 November – 1 December 2018.
“The Ukrainian World Congress calls upon the international community to react swiftly and resolutely to this deliberate and unprovoked escalation of military aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation, and to strengthen support for Ukraine in the defence of its territorial integrity” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
The Ukrainian World Congress is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has a network of member organizations and ties with Ukrainians in 61 countries. Founded in 1967, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization with special consultative status and obtained in 2018 participatory status as an international non-governmental organization with the Council of Europe.