Ukraine informs International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea about Russia's actions in the Sea of Azov
The press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Ukraine has notified the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which considers the lawsuit against Russia regarding its actions in the Sea of Azov, about the detention of Ukrainian navy ships and their crew.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that recent events, "including the attack and seizure of Ukrainian ships, show that this is a deliberate and purposeful escalation of conflict by the Russian side." “Ukraine protests against Russia’s actions. Ukraine has brought them to the attention of its allies and, by appealing to the international tribunal, demonstrated its intention to appeal against Russia's behavior using all available legal means,” the message reads.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also noted the continuation of the “discriminatory prosecution” of Ukrainian and other countries' vessels which intend to go through the Kerch Strait to Mariupol, Berdiansk and other Ukrainian ports, while ships that are sailing to Russia are not subjected to such treatment. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stressed that the Ukraine is suffering economic damage from Russian actions and reminded of the European Union countries’ support for the Kyiv’s position.
Earlier, Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister, Volodymyr Omelyan, accused Russia of blocking Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov. According to him, 18 vessels are waiting at the entrance to the Sea of Azov, four of them are heading to the port of Berdiansk, another 14 - to the port of Mariupol. Another eight ships are docked in the ports without the ability to depart.
Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia in the Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in February 2018, before the aggravation of the situation in the Sea of Azov and after the detention of the Russian trawler “Nord.