Poland to cooperate with France, Germany to de-escalate Azov Sea tension

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Bartosz Cichocki declared on Monday that Poland will cooperate with France and Germany to de-escalate tension in the Sea of Azov and for Russia's return to observing international law.

Cichocki added that "the stability and security of the region, or even maybe of the whole of Europe, was at stake."

"Poland will be cooperating with the European Normandy states - France and Germany - which, in my opinion, will initiate an international response to the escalation (of tension in the Sea of Azov - PAP). We will be cooperating for a de-escalation and Russia's return to the observance of international law," the official told PAP and IAR.

"Poland has publicly condemned Russia's aggressive behaviour and has called on Russia to observe international law, with special emphasis in this case on the observance of the right to the freedom of navigation. We have appealed to the two sides for restraint as apart from responsibility for this specific incident, the stability and security of the region, or even maybe the whole of Europe, is at stake," Cichocki stressed.

The official underlined that Poland's position on the matter, included in a Foreign Ministry statement, will be presented at international meetings.

On Sunday, two Ukrainian ships and a tugboat, which were travelling from Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, were shelled and later seized by Russian special services.

Russia said the three Ukrainian vessels made an unauthorised passage through Russian territorial waters. Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) confirmed that it fired on the vessels to force them to stop, and then seized them.