Ukraine won’t cede ground in the Kerch Strait, but the issue of the Ukrainian forces’ passage through it is not on the agenda now, Ukraine’s Chief of General Staff Ruslan Homchak said on Thursday.
"All decisions will be measured… Today we are not planning to lose ground in the Sea of Azov. As far as the passage is concerned, today this issue is not on the agenda either. We don’t have so many Ukrainians to put them at risk," Homchak said in an interview with the BBC’s Ukrainian service, TASS reports.
The chief of the General Staff has also called for a detailed investigation into the November 2018 incident. "The process is not over. Unfortunately, our sailors are in Russia’s cells," he said, also stressing that the leadership of the so-called Joint Forces Operation "is ready to react to all threats."
Three Ukrainian warships illegally entered Russia’s territorial waters in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018. Despite the repeated warnings and demands to stop, the Ukrainian vessels continued their way, forcing Russia to use weapons. Three Ukrainian servicemen were lightly wounded. The vessels were detained and 24 Ukrainian sailors were arrested.