"Victory of the Ukrainian team at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg! ITLOS orders Russia to release our ships and sailors and return them to Ukraine. Russia must immediately abide by the order," Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kateryna Zelenko posted Twitter.
As reported, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release Ukrainian military ships and return them to the custody of Ukraine and to immediately release 24 captured sailors.
As reported, on November 25, 2018, Russian border guards fired on and seized three Ukrainian Navy ships, the Berdyansk, the Nikopol, and the Yani Kapu, heading from Odesa to Mariupol, near the Kerch Strait. In addition, their crewmembers, 24 Ukrainian sailors, were captured. Three of them were wounded.
A Russian-controlled court in the occupied Crimea arrested all the detained Ukrainian sailors on charges of alleged illegal border crossing. They are held in a remand prison in Moscow now.
On January 24, 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution officially requiring Russia to treat captured Ukrainian sailors in accordance with the Geneva Convention provisions on prisoners of war.
Ukraine appealed to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea requiring the Russian Federation to release the captured naval vessels and return them to the custody of Ukraine, to suspend criminal proceedings against 24 detained sailors, to release them and allow them to return to Ukraine.
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