Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Vadym Prystaiko says the Hague Arbitration Tribunal has reaffirmed its jurisdiction to consider Ukraine's claim against Russia on the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

"The Law of the Sea case goes forward! The Hague Arbitration Tribunal reaffirmed its jurisdiction to consider Ukraine's claim on the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, as well as the expropriation of our natural resources," he said on Twitter on February 21.

"This applies to the illegal construction of the Kerch bridge by Russia as well as the harassment of navigation in the Sea of Azov," he said.

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At the same time, the minister did not indicate that the arbitration would consider Ukraine's lawsuit against Russia regarding the Black Sea.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 14, 2016, Ukraine initiated a dispute with the Russian Federation regarding its violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

A statement by Ukraine's Foreign Ministry emphasized that Kyiv was ready to prove in arbitration that Russia impudently violates the sovereign rights of Ukraine to enjoy guaranteed rights in its sea waters and on the continental shelf in the sea zones adjacent to Crimea, including the right to use natural resources of the continental shelf.

On February 19, 2018, Ukraine sent the International Tribunal a memorandum that contains a statement of all the circumstances on which Ukraine's position is based, as well as their legal justification.

In May 2018, Russia lodged an objection with the International Tribunal regarding the jurisdiction of this institution to consider Ukraine's lawsuit against the Russian Federation. For this reason, in August of the same year, the arbitration decided to divide the process into two components – jurisdictional and substantive ones.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry says the Russian Federation's objections to the jurisdiction of the arbitration to consider the lawsuit regarding the violation by Russia of the Convention on the Law of the Sea are groundless.