: :inin Kyiv (EET)

The UN International Tribunal on Crimea maritime to begin in 2017, annexation of Crimea by Russia is not in question

Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine for European Integration Olena Zerkal states that the tribunal within the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which will study the issues related to Crimea, to start work in the middle of 2017, and will announce their verdict in 2019-2021.

“We have completed all the necessary pre-trial procedures. The fact that the Russian Federation agreed to the creation of arbitration and tribunal, that they participated in selection of arbitrators – all this gives us hope for a more serious approach to its solution. We certainly hope that the arbitration will begin work from the middle of 2017,” Olena Zerkal said in an interview with the Ukrayinska Pravda.

The arbitration will deal with such issues as Ukrainian inability to use own natural resources, protect the Black Sea, navigate along the Kerch Strait, etc.

“The tribunal will consider a claim filed by Ukraine due to its inability to use own natural resources, inability to protect the Black Sea environment, inability to navigate along the Kerch Strait, as well as for the violation by Russia of the [technical] regulations during the construction of the Kerch Bridge and other overpasses, and related environmental damage to the Black Sea, as well as unauthorized excavations of archaeological treasures in Crimea,” she said.

“We insist on the restitution of our rights, i.e. the restoration of the right to use the marine coastal zone, which belongs to Ukraine under a relevant convention,” Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine for European Integration explained.

On September 14, 2016 Ukraine instituted arbitration proceedings against the Russian Federation under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“UNCLOS”) because Russia violates Ukrainian rights as the coastal state in maritime zones adjacent to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait.

See also: Russian aggression against Ukraine, international law and global security: 25 key theses


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