Russia's unwillingness to release Ukrainian sailors could be reason for sanctions - lawyer

Source : 112 Ukraine

According to Polozov, it will now be very difficult for the Russian authorities to come up with plausible explanations why they are keeping Ukrainian sailors in custody
19:57, 25 May 2019
The lawyer Nikolai Polozov
112 Agency
Failure of the Russian Federation to comply with the decision of the United Nations International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea regarding the release of Ukrainian sailors may be the reason for the imposition of regular sanctions. Russian lawyer Nikolai Polozov posted that on Facebook.

"They must immediately release the sailors ... Any delay in the implementation of the decision by the Russian authorities may be a cause for political and economic pressure from the civilized world," he noted.

According to the lawyer, now it would be advantageous for the Russians to release the Ukrainian sailors, because the criminal case that was opened against sailors can be investigated without keeping people in custody.

It’s very difficult for the Russian authorities to come up with plausible explanations for why they are holding sailors. Naturally, the authorities of Ukraine and our team of lawyers in Russia will demand to release them. We will file a decision of the tribunal,” he added.

Later in his Facebook Polozov posted the text of the court decision.

He stressed that only Russian judge Kolodkin was against it.

Related: Not its jurisdiction: Russia reacts to ITLOS decision to release Ukrainian sailors

Today, May 25, the Tribunal demanded from Russia to immediately release 24 Ukrainian sailors and ships that were seized near the Kerch Strait in the fall of last year, and ensure their return to Ukraine.

Only the Russian judge Kolodkin was against the decision.

Russia did not send its official representative to the hearing, and also refused to provide materials, but according to the current international law, it is still obliged to comply with the decisions taken by the court.

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is awaiting the release by the Russian side of Ukrainian sailors na later than June 25, 2019.
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.
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