On October 11, the Arbitration Tribunal of the International Court of Justice begins hearings on the case of Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian ships and sailors in the Kerch Strait in November 2018.
The case concerns violations by the Russian Federation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, when Russia arrested three Ukrainian naval ships and 24 members of their crews in the Black Sea on November 25, 2018. Russia continued to hold the Ukrainian ships for about a year, and the crew members for nine and a half months, and also to carried out criminal prosecution against them under the legislation of the Russian Federation. At the same time, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, warships and their crews are endowed with absolute immunity, which prohibits foreign states from inspecting, seizing, maintaining a ship and prosecuting.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine emphasizes that such actions by the Russian Federation are violation of the fundamental principles of international law.
“Ukraine has already proven a gross violation of international law by the Russian Federation when the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea imposed mandatory interim measures that required Russia to immediately release three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 detained Ukrainian sailors. 19 out of 20 judges voted for this decision, only a judge from Russia was against this decision” – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine noted.
Now Russia has exercised its right to appeal the jurisdiction of the Arbitration.
“Ukraine will respond to Russia’s objections to jurisdiction in oral hearings. Ukraine is confident that the Tribunal will accept jurisdiction in this case and Russia will be held accountable for gross violations of the law of the sea” – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine noted.
Earlier it was reported that the court in Amsterdam will announce a decision in the case of “Scythian gold” at the end of October.