The UN Maritime Tribunal is expected today to announce a decision on Ukrainian sailors arrested after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Ukraine asks to oblige Russia to release the military.
24 Ukrainian sailors are accused of illegally crossing the border. They have been in jail for several months. In Kiev, they insist that Russia’s actions are a gross violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the detention of the military was illegal. In this regard, in mid-April, Ukraine appealed to the maritime tribunal, seeking the introduction of temporary measures, namely the immediate release and return to the homeland of the crew of the detained vessels. The Ukrainian side justified the need for the intervention of an international court by the fact that every day, while the sailors are in the detention center, the damage to Ukraine is growing, and the dispute between the parties only escalates. Russia refused to participate in the meetings. The Foreign Ministry believes that the UN Maritime Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to consider the “Kerch incident”. They also stressed that this trial should not prevent the investigation of the case in Russia.
The incident in the Kerch Strait occurred in November last year. Russian border guards detained three Ukrainian vessels and their crews. In Kiev, it was considered an act of aggression. Captured sailors recognized prisoners of war.