Ukraine to keep treaty on cooperation use of Sea of Azov intact, - Foreign Ministry

19:05, 30 October 2018

Ukraine has no intentions to break the 2003 bilateral treaty with Russia on the mutual use of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait. Olena Zerkal, the deputy foreign minister of Ukraine said this as quoted by the press. She explained that such step may lead to new territorial disputes between the two states, because the common border on the water has not been defined until now.

The current document stipulates that the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait are the domestic waters of both states. This means trade and war ships of Ukraine and Russia alike can freely move across these waters. However, in April Russia started conducting groundless checks of Ukrainian vessels that headed to Berdyansk and Mariupol through Kerch strait; that inflicted heavy losses to Ukraine’s economy. In turn, the Ukrainian side started building a new naval base near Mariupol to avoid an attempt of a sea blockade.