Ukraine insists on punishing Russia for use of mines in Black Sea
This is underscored in the statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ukrinform reports.
In particular, the Ministry points out that since the beginning of the large-scale aggressive war against Ukraine, Russia has been intensifying the illegal activities of its naval forces in the Black Sea.
"Apart from capturing and destroying civilian ships, bombing the territory of Ukraine from the sea, Russia has invented a new method of piracy, which is the use of sea mines as uncontrolled drifting ammunition. Such drifting mines were discovered off the coast of Turkey and Romania on March 26-28, 2022," the Ministry stated.
It was established in course of the inspection that those sea mines had not been registered with the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as of the beginning of 2022.
"Those mines were seized by the Russian armed forces in 2014 during the military invasion and temporary occupation of the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol. As a result, Russia, using sea mines seized from military depots in 2014, deliberately provokes and discredits Ukraine in front of international partners," the statement reads.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, by doing so, the aggressor state seeks to conceal its illegal activities in the Black Sea, which run counter the principles and norms of international maritime and humanitarian law, and to evade responsibility for war crimes and piracy.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine emphasizes that Russia's deliberate use of drifting sea mines turns them into de facto indiscriminate weapons which threaten, above all, civilian shipping and human life at sea in the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, the Kerch and Black Sea straits.
Responsibility for the use of drifting mines, as well as for the unpredictable consequences, rests solely with the Russian Federation and its Navy, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stressed.
"Ukraine insists on bringing Russia to international responsibility for illegal actions in the Black Sea, war crimes and, in particular, the use of sea mines as indiscriminate weapons which are spread uncontrollably in the Black Sea," the Foreign Ministry stated.
In compliance with its international obligations, Ukraine notified the International Maritime Organization of Russia's use of drifting mines in the Black Sea including during an extraordinary session of the IMO Council and the Legal Committee, as well as through NAVTEX medium.
As reported, Russia mined recommended sea routes from the Bosporus to Odesa, claiming those were Ukrainian mines.
Drifting sea mines in the Black Sea have already been detected, in particular, by Turkey and Romania.
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