The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea will announce the decision concerning the case of arrested ships of the Ukrainian Navy and 24 crew members on May 25. The head of the delegation from Ukraine at the International Tribunal and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Olena Zerkal stated this during the session, which was broadcasted by 112 Ukraine.
“We hope that on May 25, the tribunal will rule to release three Ukrainian Navy vessels and 24 members of the crews, so that they could return to Ukraine, where we are waiting for them very much,” Zerkal emphasized.
As we reported earlier, Ukraine asked the International Tribunal. as a temporarily preventive measure. to force Russia to release the captured vessels and the sailors immediately, to close the criminal proceedings against Ukrainians and not to open them anymore.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the foreign states cannot arrest, detain or subject Navy vessels to legal proceedings.
In November 2018, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.
All 24 sailors on board were captured and delivered to Moscow – 21 of them were delivered to Lefortovo remand center, the rest came to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.