The status of the Ukrainian sailors detained in the Russian Federation after Kerch Strait incident would be determined by the rules of Geneva Convention as 112 Ukraine reported citing Oleksy Honcharenko, the representative of Ukraine in PACE.
“The Ukrainian issue has been already considered. We filed three amendments. Two of them are supported. The issue is about the references to the UN Convention on the Las of the Sea; it is very important for us in the judicial procedures, courts, which we are going to have with Russia; we will sue them and it is a very important reference for us,” Honcharenko noted.
According to him, the not supported amendment concerned the Ukrainian POWs.
“We proposed to put their status as the “prisoners of war” in the text. Our colleagues stood against such formulation so we reached a compromise formulation during the discussion that their status should be determined on the principles of the humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention. Geneva Convention on the prisoners of war,” he noted.
“There are no examples when the session hall changed the decision of the committee. So, probably, the resolution will be adopted in this formulation,” he added.
On November 25, 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, another - to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.
On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.
Facing an extension of the sentence term, Ukrainian POWs detained in the Kerch Strait refused to testify in Lefortovo court. Sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. On January 15, 2019 Moscow's Lefortovo district court decided to keep 20 Ukrainian sailors in remand until April 24. On January 16, the court extended the detention term for another 4 sailors.