"On June 25, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry received a note from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which contains a cynical offer for the Ukrainian side to provide written guarantees of Ukraine's participation in the continuation of criminal prosecution of Ukrainian seamen in accordance with Russian legislation," the ministry said in a commentary on June 26.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry considers this proposal to be unacceptable and the one that escalates the dispute between Ukraine and Russia regarding the immunity of warships. The Ukrainian side has already informed the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea about this.
"In this regard, we demand that Russia, without any further conditions, comply with the order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and immediately release the captured 24 Ukrainian sailors. We draw the Kremlin's attention to the fact that in order to stop the illegal persecution of Ukrainian seamen and comply with the order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, there are sufficient mechanisms in Russian legislation, as well as existing multilateral international treaties to which Ukraine and Russia are parties," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also strongly opposes Russia's failure to comply with the order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea of May 25, 2019, and the continued illegal detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors, crewmembers of the warships Berdiansk, Nikopol and Yany Kapu.
"The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry once again demands to immediately inform us about the time and place of release and return to Ukraine's control of the ships mentioned in the order and about the time and place of the transfer to the consular officials of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Russian Federation of 24 illegally held crewmembers," the ministry said.
June 25 was the deadline for Russia to inform the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea about the implementation of its order on the release of 24 Ukrainian sailors and three military ships and their return to their homeland.
On November 25, 2018, Russian security forces fired on and captured three Ukrainian Navy vessels that were en route from Odesa to Mariupol, as well as their crew, off the coast of Russian-occupied Crimea. Twenty-four Ukrainians were captured, three of them injured.
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