UN Law of Sea Convention can’t be applied to Kerch Strait incident with Ukraine – Moscow

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UN Law of Sea Convention can’t be applied to Kerch Strait incident with Ukraine – Moscow

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is urging Russia to hand over Ukrainian ships and crew detained for “border violation” off Crimea in 2018. Moscow has hit back, saying the body has no jurisdiction here.

Delivering its take on the matter, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that UN rules can’t be invoked in this case, again lamenting “irresponsible” behavior of Ukrainian sailors during the incident almost a year ago.

Moscow’s statement came right after the maritime court ruled that Russia must release the Ukrainian sailors and return the seized warships before the sides can present further argument to the court. Russia skipped the hearing (which took place in Hamburg, Germany).

Kiev is suing Moscow over the standoff in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov, near Crimea. On November 25, the Russian Coast Guard captured two Ukrainian gunboats and a tugboat which it says violated its maritime borders.




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The Ukrainian ships were then towed to the Russian port city of Kerch. They had 24 crewmen on board, all of whom were arrested and later formally charged with illegally crossing Russia’s border.

Ukraine denied that its ships had violated Russia’s border. Then-president Petro Poroshenko called the seizure of the warships “an act of aggression” and demanded the “immediate” release of the sailors.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin for his part hit back saying that the incident was a deliberate “provocation” orchestrated by the Ukrainian authorities.

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