Russia will close off the Kerch Strait next week for warships and state vessels of other countries. This ban will last until October 2021. This is stated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
Earlier, this information was published by the head of the Institute of Black Sea Strategic Studies Andriy Klymenko on his Facebook page.
“Who is will it concern ... foreign warships and state vessels (i.e. does not apply to commercial shipping). However, for example, as for warships of Ukraine and ships of the Ukrainian fleet, they are mainly state-owned (mainly for this case - tugboat),” Klymenko wrote.
At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses a strong protest and demands that this decision is revoked immediately.
The diplomatic body noted that such actions of the Russian Federation are a violation of the norms and principles of international law.
"Ukraine has the right to regulate navigation in these areas of the Black Sea. This step is a gross violation of the right to freedom of navigation guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. According to the Convention, the Russian Federation must not obstruct or impede transit through the International Strait to ports in the Sea of Azov, " the message reads.
The Foreign Ministry is also convinced that against the background of the ongoing buildup of its military presence along the border with Ukraine on land, Russia has also increased the escalation in the sea.
"Russia moves warships from the Caspian Sea and strengthens its military potential in the Azov-Black Sea region, and, despite the lack of legal grounds, it decided to close this area for warships of other countries, including Ukraine," the ministry said.