The Russian Foreign Ministry, commenting on the decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, obliging Moscow to release Ukrainian sailors, stated that the possibility of invoking the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to resolve the incident in the Kerch Strait was excluded.
“As the Russian side has repeatedly stated, 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 using the Convention’s dispute resolution procedures regarding the incident of 25 November 2018 in the Kerch Strait”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On November 25, Ukraine’s Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats, and the Yany Kapu tugboat crossed the Russian maritime border as they sailed toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. Russia seized the Ukrainian vessels and detained crew members after they failed to respond to a demand to stop. After the incident, a criminal case on illegal border crossing was opened in Russia.