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Ukraine v. Russia: Arbitration Tribunal for Law of Sea issues its first order

The order is part of "Case concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures"
09:08, 24 November 2019

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Arbitration Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in The Hague issued the first procedural order in the Ukraine v. Russia case, which approved the rules of appointment, the rules and the schedule of the arbitration. Olena Zerkal, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, who represents Ukrainian interests in the UN International Court of Justice and in the Arbitration Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, wrote it on Facebook.

Related: Trump forbade publishing of statement on Kerch Strait incident

 “Our case is called ‘Case concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), Provisional Measures.’ The arbitration tribunal also established that the written positions of the parties would be made public at the beginning of the hearings,” Zerkal said.

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According to her, Russian Federation will not be able to hide the facts and its violations from the general public and distort the history.

The purpose of Ukraine in this case is to recognize the Russian Federation as a country that violates military immunities, and to receive appropriate compensation.

Related: Russia agrees to return Ukrainian vessels captured in Kerch Strait

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine noted that the Russian Federation failed to bring Ukraine and the Arbitration into a lengthy and multi-stage process. According to the schedule, the Ukrainian side must submit its memorandum in six months, but this might be done earlier.

After Ukraine submits a memorandum, the Russian Federation will have three months to object to jurisdiction. Ukrainian position is that resolving the issue of jurisdiction in this case separately from the consideration of facts is impossible.

Related: Russia announces transfer of vessels captured in Kerch Strait to Ukraine

May 25, UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release 24 Ukrainian sailors and ships that were captured near the Kerch Strait last fall and ensure their return to Ukraine.

Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the incident with Ukrainian courts in the Kerch Strait area was out of the jurisdiction of the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

September 7, Ukraine and Russia conducted a major prisoner exchange that freed 35 people detained in each country and flew them to the other; Ukraine's 24 sailors were among them.

Related: First hearings on incident in Kerch Strait to begin today

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