17 April 2019, 15:45

Moscow denying jurisdiction of UN International Tribunal in case on Russia’s attack at Ukrainian seamen


The Russian Foreign Ministry claims that the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea allegedly has no jurisdiction to consider the case of attack by Russian guards on Ukrainian sailors in November 2018 near the Kerch Strait.

According to the information on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, this position of the Russian side is justified by the fact that Moscow and Kyiv once made some “reservations about the non-applicability of the procedures provided for by the 1982 Convention regarding certain categories of disputes.”

We do not see the element of urgent need in the temporary measures requested by Ukraine, which is a prerequisite for their application. The fact that Ukraine has not rushed to appeal to the Tribunal for almost five months also indicates a lack of urgency, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

At the same time, Russia called on Ukraine, to initiate consultations between the two countries instead of international judicial proceedings.

Yesterday, April 16, the Ukrainian authorities appealed to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) on the application of temporary measures against the Russian Federation with the aim of immediately releasing three Ukrainian naval vessels and twenty-four members of their crews.

On November 25, 2018, near the Kerch Strait, Russian border guards rammed a Ukrainian tugboat Yany Kapu, which was heading from Odesa to Mariupol along with Nikopol and Berdyansk boats. After that the Russian guards opened fire to kill. As a result of the shelling, three Ukrainian seamen were injured. 24 Ukrainians were captured and arrested until April 24, 2019. All the sailors consider themselves prisoners of war.