TsDAKR believes that responding to the situation in the Sea of Azov should be based on the national interests of Ukraine, and not because of complaints from shipowners.
With all due respect to Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine on European Integration Olena Zerkal, the CIDAR disagrees with the statement that as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine / MFA of Ukraine has no complaints from shipowners and captains of vessels delayed by the FSB of the Russian Federation in the Azov Sea and Kerch the Strait, Ukraine can not resist the frankly arrogant strategy of Russia on the transformation of Azov into the "Russian Sea".
CDAIR believes that:
- In the Sea of Azov there is an Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait, which actually creates a legal vacuum in the Sea of Azov because of the lack of clearly defined lines of state borders of Russia and Ukraine. http://zakon5.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/643_205
- In the Sea of Azov, in fact, the rules of international maritime law regarding the definition of territorial waters are not in effect.
- Occupation and annexation of the Crimea led to the fact that Russia alone controls the Kerch Strait.
- Under these conditions, Russia is openly carrying out demonstrative measures to establish de facto full control over the Azov Sea (A2AD, anti-access and area denial).
"Every day, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority records the detention of special inspection services of the Russian ships for inspection, which are directed from / to the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk. All data is transmitted by the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We receive numerous complaints from vessel captains, agents working in the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol, port administrations and people's deputies regarding the unjustified increase in the number of vessel delays. So the next can not continue, "said Deputy Minister Yuriy Lavrenyuk.
CEDAW believes that Ukraine should immediately take all necessary measures to prevent the implementation of this scenario as it will lead to direct threats to national security and defense and will have serious consequences for the national interests of Ukraine.
- To immediately evaluate the expediency of maintaining the current Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait and to use all possible instruments under this document to influence Russia;
- in the event of the ineffectiveness of the application of the said Treaty, to consider denouncing it and involving all possible instruments in the field of international law of the sea;
- to strengthen the naval grouping of the Ukrainian Navy in the waters of the Azov Sea (within the existing naval composition of the Ukrainian Navy, as well as to consider the rapid increase in the number of surface ships that are suitable for use in the Azov Sea, through military-technical cooperation with the Allies);
- consider the possibility of organizing the convoys of civilian vessels in the Sea of Azov by the forces of the Ukrainian Navy to prevent their inspections by the FSB of the Russian Federation.
TsDAKR believes that such steps will demonstrate Ukraine's readiness to counteract Russian aggressors in the Azov Sea.
Further inaction can lead to severe consequences, which will then be extremely difficult to fix.