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Russia disposes of Ukrainian submarine seized during annexation of Crimea

Applications for participation in the tender will be accepted until July 25
18:47, 23 June 2019
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced a tender for the disposal of several ships, including Ukrainian Navy's Zaporizhia submarine. It was seized by Russia during the annexation of Crimea in 2014. This was reported on the public procurement website.

Applications for participation in the competition will be accepted until July 25. The contract amount is unknown.

One of the lots in the tender documents is a diesel submarine from the Project 641, but its name is not indicated. According to Ukrainska Pravda, in the Russian Navy there is only one submarine of this type, and it's Zaporizhia.

We recall that there were 17 Ukrainian Navy vessels, boats and ships, including 11 warships in Crimea. Among them are the large landing ship "Kostyantyn Olshansky", the control ship "Slavutych", anti-submarine corvettes "Ternopil" and "Lutsk", sea trawlers "Cherkasy" and "Chernihiv", a large submarine "Zaporizhya", a rescue tug "Kremenets" and others.
On May 25, the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ordered Russia to release and repatriate to Ukraine all 24 sailors and three naval vessels, seized through military force off Crimea’s coast exactly six months earlier (see EDM, November 26, 2018), in the “Kerch incident” with world-wide reverberations. The ITLOS decision (Itlos.org, May 25, 2019) represents a significant success for Ukraine and for international law. But it is only an initial step in a litigation that Russia has the power to drag out indefinitely or (less likely) to block outright.

Russia does not recognize any jurisdiction other than its own in the Kerch Strait, nor in nearby areas of the Black Sea that are legally Ukrainian but taken over by Russia following its seizure of Crimea. In a show of defiance, the Moscow City Court promptly ruled to prolong the detention of the 24 Ukrainian sailors by another two months, pending further investigation and trial (TASS, May 27), although ITLOS had prescribed that the trial be suspended and the sailors allowed to return to Ukraine “immediately.” The sailors are charged, under Russia’s criminal code, with aggravated illegal crossing of Russia’s maritime state border, although no country but Russia recognizes such a border.

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