ITLOS issued an Order requiring the RF to immediately release the Ukrainian vessels and the detained Ukrainian servicemen

Events

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea issued an Order requiring the Russian Federation to immediately release the Ukrainian vessels “Berdyansk”, “Nikopol” and “Yani Kapu”, return them under control of Ukraine, and immediately release the detained Ukrainian servicemen and allow them to return to Ukraine.

This Order contains a serious signal to Russia that it cannot violate international law with impunity. The detention of three naval vessels and the 24 servicemen on board is a gross violation of the immunity enjoyed by warships under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and customary international law.

According to the Tribunal, the actions taken by the Russian Federation may cause irreparable harm to Ukraine's claimed rights to the immunity of its naval vessels and servicemen, if the arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII, recognizes that Ukraine enjoys those rights. In addition, the Tribunal considers that the risk of irreparable harm is real in these circumstances.

The objective of the request for provisional measures filed with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is to obtain protection from further irreparable harm to the rights of Ukraine during the consideration of the case on the merits.

Russia's refusal to participate in the dispute does not affect the course of legal proceedings and does not release Russia from the obligation to comply with the Order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

According to the Order of the Tribunal, the Parties were required to submit reports on the implementation of the above Order by 25 June.

However, the Russian Federation did not comply with the Tribunal's Order.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has strongly protested against the Russian Federation's failure to comply with the Order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea dated 25 May 2019 and the continued illegal detention of the 24 Ukrainian servicemen from “Berdyansk”, “Nikopol” and “Yani Kapu” warships.

Hamburg
May, 2019
25