Ukraine is going to submit a full-fledged interstate application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) demanding the release of Ukrainian sailors captured by Russia.
"January 7 is the deadline for submitting the application, and it will be done on January 7," Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Justice and Commissioner for the European Court of Human Rights Ivan Leshchyna said, the news outlet RBC Ukraine reported.
"The claim concerns the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of obligations under the European Convention. That is, whether Russia adheres to human rights that are stipulated in the Convention or not. The demand will be to declare that Russia is violating the Convention by holding the sailors captive," he said.
According to him, the release of the sailors will be the form of the execution of a positive decision by the ECHR.
"If it takes a decision in favor of Ukraine, the execution of the decision will be the release of the sailors. But it is not known whether the ECHR is going to directly state that they should be freed as separate measures of an individual character. We will demand this, but it is not known whether it is possible in practice. There have been no such cases as of today yet so that the court directly rules so. But we hope for this," he added.
Russia captured 24 members of the Ukrainian Navy along with the seizure of their three boats near the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea on November 25, 2018.
According to the ECHR, there are currently five Ukraine v. Russia inter-State applications pending. They are: Ukraine v. Russia (VIII) (application No. 55855/18) concerning events on the Kerch Strait in November 2018; Ukraine v. Russia (VII) (application No. 38334/18) alleging the politically motivated detention and prosecution of Ukrainian nationals on various criminal charges; Ukraine v. Russia (re Crimea) (application No. 20958/14); Ukraine v. Russia (re eastern Ukraine) (No. 8019/16); Ukraine v. Russia (II) (application No. 43800/14) on the alleged abduction of three groups of children in eastern Ukraine and their temporary transfer to Russia on three occasions between June and August 2014.
Another case, Ukraine v. Russia (III) (No. 49537/14), was struck off after the Ukrainian government stated that it did not wish to pursue it. It concerned the deprivation of liberty and treatment of Mr H. Dzhemilov, a Ukrainian national belonging to the Crimean Tatars ethnic group, in the context of criminal proceedings which the Russian authorities have conducted against him.