Ukraine speaks out against Russia's violations of UN Convention on Sea Law
Ukraine on February 19, 2018, filed a memorandum in arbitration proceedings against the Russian Federation under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ("UNCLOS").
"The Memorandum establishes that Russia has violated Ukraine's sovereign rights in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait," Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday, February 19.
Read alsoRussia to stop gas production on seized Black Sea shelf in Crimea – mediaSince 2014, Russia has unlawfully excluded Ukraine from exercising its maritime rights; it has exploited Ukraine's sovereign resources for its own ends; and it has usurped Ukraine's right to regulate within its own maritime areas.
"Through these violations of international law, Russia is stealing Ukraine's energy and fisheries resources, harming the livelihoods of Ukrainian fishermen, and blocking traffic to Ukrainian ports with its illegal bridge over the Kerch Strait, among other serious violations," it said.
Ukraine asks the Tribunal to end the Russian Federation's violations of UNCLOS and vindicate Ukraine's rights in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait, including by ordering Russia to respect Ukraine's sovereign rights in its own waters, to cease its theft of Ukraine's resources, and to pay reparation for hydrocarbon resources Russia has wrongfully taken, among other relief.
Ukraine initiated arbitration proceedings against the Russian Federation in September 2016. A five-member Tribunal sitting in The Hague has been constituted to hear Ukraine's case. Ukraine is vindicating its rights in the face of Russia's flagrant violations of international law in appropriate international forums, including the UNCLOS case, as well as Ukraine's case against the Russian Federation before the International Court of Justice.
The document submitted by Ukraine on February 19 contains all details regarding its claim and legal grounds. Then, the Russian side will have three months to prepare its objections.
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry expects a final decision by the International Tribunal on the UNCLOS violations by Russia no earlier than 2021.