On October 11, the International Court of Arbitration will hold the first hearing in the case of Ukraine against Russia. Ukraine sues Russia for capturing the Ukrainian military vessels and their crew members in the Kerch Strait in November 2018. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reported that on Twitter.
According to the Minister, it is a pivotal case for Ukraine; it is supposed to prove the Russian agression, illegal detention of Ukrainian vessels and sailors, and the illegal trial against the military servicemen. Ukraine will protect the principles of the international maritime law, he said.
"The case is also of major importance for the world since Ukraine uses facts and legal positions to prove that the absolute immunity of military vessels is a basic principle and a commitment, according to the international maritime law, and it must be observed by all countries, and its violations are punished", the Minister said.
In November 2018, Russian border guards captured three Ukrainian military vessels, namely Yany Kapu tug boat and missile boats, Berdyansk and Nikopol. The ships were on their way fom Odesa to Mariupol. They were halted in the Kerch strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. All crew members, 24 Ukrainian sailors were detained as well.
The Law of the Sea Tribunal obliged Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors. In September 2019, they returned home. And then, Russia returned the Ukrainian ships, too - only with no equipment on them.