The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine appealed to the Russian Federation with the demand to return Ukrainian vessels detained in the Kerch Strait in November 2018. Olena Zerkal, the Deputy Head of Foreign Ministry posted that on Facebook.
"We turned with this demand for the first time on November 26, 2018, on the next morning after the illegal detention of our vessels and sailors. Then we appealed to the Russian Federation with the same request several times. The demand to release the vessels is presented in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on April 1, 2019. We have sent at least seven applications with the request to get the vessels back. We did not get a reply to any of these, including the last one as of October 4, 2019," Zerkal stated.
The Deputy Head of the Ukrainian MFA reminded about the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea: Russia must pass Nikopol, Berdyansk and Yany Kapu under the control of Ukraine immediately.
She noted that Russia regularly violates principles of international law and underlined that the country has to implement the tribunal's decision completely but not partially.
"Russia tries to demonstrate as if it completed the decision of the tribunal after releasing of our sailors (and stated about it immediately to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea). But it is not that. We should be aware of the fact the decision of the Internation Tribunal is not implemented. Russia continues violating the principles of international law. The pressure on Russia will be continued unless the vessels are returned to Ukraine unconditionally," Olena Zerkal added.