The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has determined that the weapons installed on ships and boats of the Coast Guard of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine may be fired without warning, to repel an invasion or attack on Ukrainian vessels.

Some 244 lawmakers backed the relevant law "On the adjacent zone of Ukraine" (No. 8361), an UNIAN correspondent reports.

The law establishes the status and determines the legal regime of the adjacent zone of Ukraine. The adjacent zone of Ukraine is a zone of the open sea adjacent to the territorial sea of Ukraine, whose external border is at a distance of no more than 24 nautical miles measured from the baselines from which the width of the territorial sea of Ukraine is measured.

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The final provisions of the law stipulate the weapons of ships and boats of the Coast Guard may be used without warning to repel armed attacks and invasion of the territory of Ukraine by armed military groups and criminal groups, to terminate armed conflicts and armed provocations, to repel an attack (help to repel an attack) on ships (boats) and vessels of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine or other vessels of Ukraine, as well as to suppress armed resistance.

A weapon can also be used after warning shots to detain vessels that violated the legislation of Ukraine on the state border or customs, fiscal (tax), immigration (migration) or sanitary legislation of Ukraine, during hot pursuit that began in the territorial sea or in the adjacent zone of Ukraine, or to detain during hot pursuit ships that violated the legislation of Ukraine on the exclusive (maritime) economic zone of Ukraine, in case of their failure to comply with demands to stop, if the vessel tries to escape, and other possibilities for stopping it are exhausted. The weapons may also be used to ensure a halt to hostile actions of ships against the coast of Ukraine, underwater and surface objects that are under the flag of Ukraine.

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The law provides for the right to a hot pursuit of a ship that has violated the legislation of Ukraine, with the aim of its detention and bringing the crew to responsibility in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The right to persecution is no longer valid as soon as the pursued vessel enters the territorial sea of the state whose flag the ship flies, or that of any third country.

Shutting down an automatic identification system by a ship, with the exception of warships and other state ships used for non-commercial purposes, constitutes grounds for stopping and inspecting the ship, or its hot pursuit.

The law comes into force from the day following the day of its publication.