OREANDA-NEWSThe Foreign Ministry of Ukraine said it intends to seek international status for the Kerch Strait, reports the news agency. At the same time, Kiev notes the importance of the agreement concluded with Russia, which regulates the use of the strait and the Sea of Azov.

Earlier it was reported that NATO will protect the ships of Ukraine from Russia as they pass through the Kerch Strait. This was stated by US Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Alliance, Kay Bailey Hutchison. A video of her briefing is posted on the State Department’s YouTube channel. According to her, during the meeting of the head of the foreign affairs agencies that starts today in Washington, NATO will take a package of measures to ensure the safe passage of Ukrainian ships and ships of other neighbors of Russia to the Black Sea region - Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia - through the Kerch Strait.

A loud statement was made by the deputy foreign minister of the country, Elena Zerkal. “For me it is very important now to ensure the determination of the status of the Kerch Strait as international. This will remove many questions, including the question of Russia's speculations regarding the status of the Kerch Strait as internal”, the diplomat said.

According to her, because of the confidence of Russian politicians that "only they can control shipping in the Kerch Strait", Ukraine needs to achieve the right to represent its interests in international arbitration. Zerkal also noted the importance of the agreement on the use of the strait concluded between the countries in 2003, which emphasizes the freedom of navigation. “I believe that the agreement fulfills its function now, and Ukraine will proceed from the principle of expediency in resolving this issue. The agreement is complementary to the international maritime convention”, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine noted.