Kyiv: Russia demands from Ukraine to guarantee prosecution of Ukrainian sailors

Russia did not comply with the order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and has requested an unacceptable condition for the release of Ukrainian sailors, reads the statement of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"On June 25, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine received a note from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that contains a cynical proposal to the Ukrainian side to provide the written guarantees of Ukraine's participation in the criminal prosecution of Ukrainian sailors under Russian law. We consider this proposal by Russia unacceptable. It escalates the dispute between Ukraine and Russia over the immunities of warships. The Ukrainian side has already informed the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea about Russia's response," stated the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin wrote on Facebook that "the Russian Federation is trying to force Ukraine to accept the prosecution, which is conducted against our sailors, and indirectly accept the occupation of Crimea". "We won't agree to that," he said.

The Ukrainian Ministry requires from Russia to set the time and place for the release and return of ships to Ukraine as well as to set the time and place of transfer of 24 detained crew members of these ships to the Embassy of Ukraine in the Russian Federation immediately.

On November 25, 2018, Russian security forces captured three Ukrainian warships in the neutral waters of the Black Sea. The crew of two boats and a tug (24 people) was taken to Simferopol, where a Russian-controlled court arrested all Ukrainians. The next day sailors were transported to Moscow and remain in custody.

On May 25, 2019, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea of the United Nations ordered that Russia should release all Ukrainian sailors who were captured in November 2018 and return three ships to Ukraine. The Tribunal gave Russia one month to report on the implementation of the decision.

  Russia, Ukraine, Black Sea, Klimkin, Crimea