Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) expresses the strong protest due to the decision of the Moscow court to extend the arrest of 24 Ukrainian POW sailors and emphasizes that this decision exacerbates the dispute between the countries. The message of the foreign institution reads.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses the strong protest against the decision of Moscow Court on the extension of arrest up to October 24, 2019, toward 24 Ukrainian POW sailors who were detained in the Black Sea by the Russian Federation on November 25, 2018. Today’s decision of the Moscow court is another violation of the international law by Russia and exacerbates the dispute more,” the message says.
The foreign institution mentioned the arrest of 24 Ukrainian servicemen and three naval ships by Russia was a rude and сontinued violation of sovereign immunity which is used both by courts and soldiers according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the common international law.
MFA added, on May 25 the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ordered to absolve three naval vessels and 24 crew members immediately and unconditionally. Violations of the obligations by Russia related to the immediate release of the ships and servicemen is the violation of the command and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
It was stated in the message Ukraine thanks to all its international partners for their solidarity in the fight for the release of Ukrainian soldiers and naval vessels.
It stands to mention Lefortovo Moscow Court left detained all 24 Ukrainian sailors up to the end of October.
We recall, on November 25, 2018, Russian border guards seized the Ukrainian Yana Kapu raid tug and small armored artillery boats Berdyansk and Nikopol of the Naval Forces of Ukraine in the Kerch Strait area, using weapons.
As a result of the incident, 24 Ukrainian sailors were detained and arrested. They were transported from Crimea to the Moscow Lefortovo detention facility. In addition, three Ukrainian sailors wounded during the shelling by the Russians were transferred to the Prison Hospital.
ITLOS ordered the Russian Federation to immediately release the captured sailors' prisoners of war and allow them to return to Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelensky urged President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to release Ukrainian POW sailors. “I want to appeal to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin: all of us have children. Return children to their parents,” Zelensky said.