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Russia still impedes passage of ships through Kerch Strait, - Ukraine’s Border Guard Service

As of the morning December 7, over 140 vessels expects the passing through Kerch Strait at the anchorages
13:58, 7 December 2018

Ministry of Temporary Occupied Territories and IDPs

The Russian Federation continues to obstruct the navigation of ships through Kerch Strait to the Ukrainian ports despite the international law as Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service reported.

“According to the data of the Border Guard Service, as of the morning December 7, over 140 vessels expects the passing through Kerch Strait at the anchorages, 98 of them stay at the side of the Black Sea,” the message said.

Related: Ukraine’s Naval Forces continue to use Kerch Strait for ships’ passage, - Defense Minister

The number of the vessels in Kerch Strait amounted to 400 at the end of November. The increasing of this number is spotted again, despite the stabilization of the situation in the first days of December and its decrease up to 105 ships.

The Border Guard Service notes that Russia continues to intentionally violate the norms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea dated 1982 and Agreement between Ukraine and Russia on the cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait dated 2003 and forces Ukrainian an foreign merchant ships to wait for the passage during a long period of time.

Related: Russia’s ombudswoman claims that wounded Ukrainian sailors are alright

The obstacle created for the ships forwarded to the Ukrainian ports.

Thus, only 41 ships in either direction were passed during the past 24 hours, eight of them were aiming to or from the Ukrainian ports. Those ships aiming from the Ukrainian port were checked by Russia’s FSB.

Related: Russia lost right to deny that it is side at conflict in Ukraine, - Poland

Earlier Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs reported that the vessels accidents were spotted in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov due to the blocking of the Kerch Strait by the Russian Federation.

As we reported, the Russian Federation has blocked the movement of civilian ships in the Sea of Azov due to the confrontation with the ships of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, which were passing from Odesa (the Black Sea) to Mariupol (the Sea of Azov).

Related: Germany offers to extend OSCE SMM mandate to Sea of Azov

Russian Federation has lifted the restriction of movement of civilian vessels across Kerch Strait. The ships already cross it. According to the official who represents the Crimean occupant authorities, the decision took effect movement at about 4 am, November 26.

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