Interests of Ukraine are priority in the Kerch Strait, – SBI
Director of the State Bureau of Investigation Oleksiy Sukhachev said that in the investigation of the case of the passage of Ukrainian Navy ships through the Kerch Strait, the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian fleet are priority.
“As for the ‘case of the seamen’, it is at the stage of pre-trial investigation today. We are now closely following the process at the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He studies important aspects related to Russia’s violation of international law in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov,” Sukhachev said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Oleksiy Sukhachev noted that any word, even indirectly related to violations of the Russian Federation of international law in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, has serious weight, since information can be distorted and used against Ukraine.
“Therefore, all I can say now is that the investigation is ongoing. And it is precisely the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian fleet that are a priority in this matter,” Oleksiy Sukhachev emphasized.
Recall that on November 25th, 2018, Russian border guards detained a Ukrainian tugboat and small armored artillery cutters heading from Odesa to Mariupol in the Kerch Strait region.
The FSB characterized the incident as a provocation. According to the Ukrainian authorities, the Russian Federation violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.
Ukraine appealed to the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, demanding to take action against Russia. The UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled on May 25th that Russia should free the Ukrainian seafarers and hand over to Ukraine the Ukrainian ships confiscated during the incident.
All 24 military seamen returned to Ukraine within in terms of the mutual release of the detainees by Ukraine and the Russian Federation.