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Ukrainian sailors must be exchanged, and the ships

The UN International Tribunal is on the side with Kiev when considering the incident in the Kerch Strait. Russia does not agree with this.

Kiev intends to demand from Berlin the introduction of new “Hamburg” sanctions against Russia, if Moscow does not comply with the decision of the International Court on the Law of the Sea regarding the release of Ukrainian sailors. This was stated by the Ambassador of Ukraine in Germany, Andrei Melnik. The decision made by the court in Hamburg, Miller called a diplomatic victory and an important trump card in the release of sailors.


Recall last Saturday the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled on the incident in the Kerch Strait. He demanded that Russia release the Ukrainian seamen detained as a result of the incident and return the confiscated vessels to Ukraine.


At the same time, the head of the International Tribunal Park Jin Hyun warned both sides of the steps that could aggravate the dispute over the incident in the Kerch Strait.


In addition, Park Jin Hyun said that the tribunal does not ask the Russian side to stop the criminal case against the detained Ukrainians, but orders Russia to return the sailors to their homeland.


Representatives of the Russian side did not take part in the hearings, since Moscow believes that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to consider this case.


Russian political analyst offered his recipe for relieving tension between Russia and Ukraine.

– As previously noted by the Russian side, the statements made by both Russia and Ukraine when signing and ratifying the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of ​​1982 exclude the possibility of engaging in dispute resolution procedures for the incident of November 25, 2018 in the Kerch Strait. In the course of the subsequent arbitration, we intend to consistently defend our position, including the lack of arbitration jurisdiction to consider this situation in the light of the circumstances mentioned above, – the Russian Foreign Ministry’s decision commented on the decision of the tribunal.


– It was possible to avoid its occurrence provided that the requirements of the Russian legislation concerning navigation in the area were met. We urge the Ukrainian side to act that way in the future, – added the agency.


Recall, Ukraine appealed to the Tribunal demanding the release of Ukrainian sailors and ships on April 16 of this year.


24 Ukrainians, among them two officers of the Security Service of Ukraine, were charged with “illegal crossing the border, committed by a group of persons in a preliminary conspiracy or organized group, or using violence or threatening to use it” they can face up to six years in prison.


The arrested Ukrainian sailors at the end of November last year were transported from the Crimea to Moscow. In April of this year, the Lefortovo court of the capital extended the terms of arrest to all the defendants until the end of July.


What will Ukraine take now, and what sanctions could threaten Russia for non-execution of the decision of the international tribunal?

Is it even possible to solve this problem to the general satisfaction of the parties, given that the parties have a diametrically opposite view of the situation? In Kiev, seafarers are considered prisoners of war, and in Moscow – detainees for committing a criminal offense.


We will remind, that the famous Russian political scientist Sergei Stankevich proposed a way out of the Kerch “deadlock”. In his opinion, the issue of the return of sailors to Ukraine can be resolved with a general exchange of arrested persons, or, as a matter of priority, with the involvement of adequate religious leaders as mediators.


– It is not the first time when international institutions play up to Ukraine in their anti-Russian performances, – reminds political analyst Ivan Mezyuho.


  • Strictly speaking, we are already used to this. I will not be unsubstantiated to say that the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea submits to the West led by the United States, however, it is not a secret that a number of international judicial institutions are either dependent on Washington or are guided by it in their activities.


– And how do we respond?


The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the tribunal had no jurisdiction in this matter. As I understand the essence of the matter, there will still be arbitration, and in the course of it Moscow will stand on its own. The Tribunal is obliged to take into account the extremely important reservation made by Russia when ratifying the 1982 Convention when considering this case.


– Explain.


– The fact is that the signing and ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of ​​1982, Moscow made statements that exclude consideration of the incident in the Black Sea in the framework of the procedures provided for in this document. This clause concerns law enforcement activities regarding the exercise of sovereign rights and jurisdiction.


– What will happen if we do not comply with the decisions of the tribunal? What sanctions can they apply?


– We live in a time when sanctions can be imposed because of anything and anyone. The likelihood of imposing restrictive measures against Russia as a result of this trial should not be categorically denied.


– As for the Ukrainian sailors. What about amnesty? In the end, they only carried out the order, it is necessary to judge Poroshenko and his entourage …


  • It’s premature to speak of an amnesty or rather a pardon. The citizens of our country are in no way in Ukrainian dungeons, but the Ukrainian naval sailors violated the law, even if ordered by their command. We had the right to sink Ukrainian troughs on legal grounds, but Russia acted humanely. Thanks to our humanity, sailors are alive and well.


– Is it possible to exchange them? Or are they criminals and can not be exchanged?


  • I believe that the exchange will ever take place. It will probably be possible after the Russian court makes a legal decision in respect of the sailors of Ukraine, and Kiev and Moscow come to some more or less mutually beneficial deal on this issue.


– As far as generally solved the problem of the exchange of persons held between Russia and Ukraine? How to make sure that no new prisoners and prisoners appear?


– The problem is solved, and Kiev could take the first step towards meeting Moscow in this matter. And in order for new prisoners and prisoners not to appear, Ukraine must stop throwing its saboteurs and spies into the Crimea, carry out military provocations in the territorial waters of Russia, and also terrorize our citizens on its territory. Then no exchanges will be needed.


– Russia today is like a whipping boy, – the editor-in-chief of the FORUM portal continues. Moscow time Anatoly Baranov.


  • Of course, all international structures, including the courts, will consider all cases through the prism of this “our bad”.


– Pak Jin Hyun said that the maritime law tribunal is not asking the Russian side to stop the criminal case against the detained Ukrainians. What does it mean? Release, judge in absentia and make any sentences you like?


  • The Tribunal does not interfere in national proceedings, but acts within its competence.


– What will happen if we do not comply with this decision?


  • In general, nothing will happen. And we, of course, will not do it.


– Does this decision mean that any international court on the Crimea and the Sea of ​​Azov will always stand on the side of Kiev? Is it possible to overcome this?


– Yes, that is what it means. How to overcome? The situation must be brought to the point of absurdity, when the tribunal will be forced to choose between the “party line” and common sense …


– What to do with the Ukrainian sailors? Plant? Amnesty?


– In principle, it is the responsibility of President Putin to amnesty and exchange these seamen. This is a common practice. And why are they needed? Of course, we must hurry to pass a sentence, amnesty and get rid of them immediately – in a good way …


– And what about the confiscated vessels? Will they be given to Ukraine? Russia does not need this scrap.

– And this is the main question. Everyone is writing about some kind of “trial”, as if we had detained the fishing feluccas, and now we are torturing the sailors. And these are warships !!! And these are not just sailors, but military men who, with arms in their hands, invaded the territory of Russia. Not by chance, but quite consciously. And this question is completely beyond the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for the Law of the Sea! This is not about breaking water boundaries, but about a military invasion. Turkey shot down our bomber, which was only a few seconds in its airspace. And the same with territorial waters. We could destroy these ships, and we would be right.


– So what to do with them? Return?


  • Return is absolutely not necessary. You can safely destroy them.

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