"Russia has already stolen more than 9 billion cubic meters of gas from Ukraine" - Zerkal in the Hague court
Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Olena Zerkal presented the Ukrainian position in a court hearing of the Arbitration Tribunal in the case of Ukraine against Russia about violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Black and Azov Seas and the Kerch Strait by the Russian Federation.
Zerkal published the text of the corresponding speech on her Facebook page.
According to her, Ukraine appealed to the Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague with a request to resolve a dispute about the interpretation and application of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This is a dispute about Russia’s violation of the rights of Ukraine according to the UNCLOS in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.
With violation of numerous provisions of the UNCLOS and without any legal grounds, Russia illegally built a bridge across the international strait. Russia infringes upon ships of all countries traveling to or from Ukrainian ports. Russia plunders our energy resources within the limits of our rights on sea spaces. Russia does not let our fishermen into the waters in which they always fished. These violations constitute in their totality a complete disregard for the international law of the sea on the part of Russia, – Zerkal said in court.
According to the Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, since the spring of 2014, when the annexation of the peninsula took place, Russia has stolen more than 9 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Ukraine. As a result of Russia’s actions, the Ukrainian annual fish catch has also significantly decreased.
The diplomat stressed that the case of Ukraine does not concern sovereignty over the Crimea, since this issue is not disputed and is not in doubt:
“We, like the rest of the world, have no doubt that Crimea is Ukraine, it is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine and is respected by the international community.”
Zerkal expressed confidence that Ukraine has the right to consider this dispute by the Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
“Today you will see why Russia will not be able to avoid your jurisdiction. I am convinced: after listening to the arguments put forward, you will agree that Ukraine is authorized to present its case to you and to seek justice in accordance with the Convention,” she said.
June 10-14, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague holds the first hearing in the Ukraine-Russia arbitration on Moscow’s violation of international maritime law in the Black and Azov Seas and in the Kerch Strait.