International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea considers case of Ukrainian sailors

18:09, 10 May 2019

Ukraine provided its first arguments at the hearing in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The country's delegation arrived for the session of the authority, as it considered the case of the illegal detention of Ukrainian sailors in Russia.

Deputy Foreign Minister for European Integration Olena Zerkal urged the Tribunal to bind Russia by the obligation to release the sailors and their vessels. The Russian delegation refused to participate in the hearing; however, this does not affect the legitimate nature of the Tribunal's decision.

Three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 crew members were attacked and captured by Russian troops near the Kerch Strait, not far from the occupied Crimea. Three Ukrainian seamen were wounded in the assault. The Russian side charged the sailors with the alleged breach of the Russian maritime border. Ukraine considers this incident an act of open military aggression by the Kremlin.