06:53 GMT +322 March 2019
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    Relations between Russia and the EU have deteriorated with the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, as western governments imposed economic sanctions on Russia, accusing Moscow of aiding independence supporters in eastern regions of the country.

    Independent EU Mediation Needed to Solve Incidents Like Kerch Strait Clash - MEP

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    Kerch Strait Row (59)

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - Situations like the incident with the detention of Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait could be solved with the help of independent European mediation, but the policies of EU member states lack common interests to act as one, Mario Borghezio, a member of the EP's Europe of Nations and Freedom Group, told Sputnik.

    'A truly independent and authoritative European mediation would be very important in situations like this, but to date, there is no real common European Union foreign policy, based on values and interests that are truly shared by all member states. It is a shame', Borghezio said.

    According to Borghezio, NATO member states should be more prudent about the developments in the Sea of Azov and exert decisive pressure in order to de-escalate tensions in the region.

    READ MORE: Ex-NATO Commander Calls on Trump to 'Stand Up' to Putin Over Kerch Strait Rift

    Vladimir Putin said earlier on Wednesday that the Kerch Strait incident appeared to have been a provocation prepared in advance as well as a pretext to introduce martial law in Ukraine.

    The comment of the Russian President came after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had signed a decree to impose martial law in a number of Ukrainian regions. The decision followed Sunday's incident when three Ukrainian vessels had been seized by Russia in the Black Sea after breaching the border.

    On Sunday, Ukraine's Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats and the Yany Kapu tugboat crossed the Russian maritime border. According to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), the vessels sailed toward the Kerch Strait, an entrance to the Sea of Azov, and were seized by Russia after failing to respond to a demand to stop.

    Views and opinions expressed in the article are those of speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Kerch Strait Row (59)


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    mediation, Mario Borghezio, Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, European Union, Kerch Strait, Ukraine, Russia
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