According to the article No.33 of the UN Charter, Ukraine gave Russia all the opportunities to solve the dispute concerning the capture of the Ukrainian sailors and vessels in Kerch Strait in a diplomatic way, as Ukraine’s representative Olena Zerkal said in her speech in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. She posted the whole text of the speech on Facebook.
“After this detention, Ukraine began to direct its efforts to solve this situation. In compliance with the article No.33 of the UN Charter, we gave Russia all the opportunities to solve the dispute in a diplomatic way. We have been working on many international platforms to make Russia adhere to its international commitments. Unfortunately, we could not achieve a positive outcome after several months of hard work,” Zerkal noted.
Therefore, Ukraine had to appeal to the judicial procedures of dispute resolution.
Zerkal noted that Russia neglected not only the requests but also multiple calls of the international community. Russia insisted that its actions are justified with its national legislation and the UN Convention on the Law of Sea.
“Russia is trying to prevent Tribunal from analyzing its illegal actions by presenting them as military activities which might be excluded from the dispute resolution procedures in compliance with the Convention, despite the fact that the country insisted that those actions have nothing to do with military ones,” Zerkal noted.
She added that Russia’s behavior is a gross violation of the Convention and international customary law.
“Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine, and the waters where the vessels were detained are the territorial waters of Ukraine or its exclusive economic zone. Russia’s actions violated the Contention even if Russia detained the Ukrainian naval vessels in its territorial waters or exclusive economic zone. The immunity of the naval vessels is a basic immunity of the sovereign in the international system. Military vessels and its crew can not be arrested by the law enforcement bodies of the foreign states and be subjected to the jurisdiction as foreign vessels,” she said.
Ukraine appealed to the Tribunal asking for protection from continuous harm provided in the Convention and customary principles of international law.