Zerkal: Russia illegally stopped already 150 vessels on way to Ukrainian ports

Zerkal: Russia illegally stopped already 150 vessels on way to Ukrainian ports

Russia built a bridge across the Kerch Strait on its own authority. It stops and harasses the vessels in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

“Russia disrupts international navigation and commerce on the seas. It builds bridges, pipelines and cables without even consulting with us. Russia decided on its own to build a low clearance bridge across the Kerch Strait. Because of this bridge, large ships cannot reach the important Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdiansk. Since April 2018, Russia has been stopping and harassing ships in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. It has stopped vessels just a few miles away from Ukrainian ports. These actions are serious aggravation of the dispute before the Tribunal, and we notified the Tribunal of this aggravation of the dispute in our letter of 27 November 2018. That letter recounts how Russia has illegally stopped and harassed at least 150 vessels, majority with the flags of the third states, on their way to the Ukrainian ports,” Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister, Agent of Ukraine Olena Zerkal said, while delivering the opening statement at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

According to her, Ukraine’s memorial describes in details these and other violations of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The PAC’s jurisdiction over this dispute is clear, Zerkal stressed.

 “Russia’s claim is also not plausible. It is built on a ridiculous idea that Crimea became independent and then was immediately absorbed by Russia. Russia did not name any state that recognized this new state of Crimea over the few hours it was supposed t be independent. I don’t think I need to tell you why Russia said nothing about this,” Zerkal noted.

 “The object of Ukraine’s case is to vindicate our rights in the sea. Nothing more,” the Ukrainian foreign deputy minister stressed.

As reported, on June 10-14, the Permanent Court of Arbitration holds hearings on the preliminary objections of the Russian Federation in the arbitration Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait, instituted by Ukraine against Russia.


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