KIEV, September 14 /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has ordered Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry to initiate arbitration proceedings against Russia, which he accused of supposedly breaching the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Ukrainian president’s press service said on Wednesday.
"President Pyotr Poroshenko has instructed the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to launch arbitration proceedings against Russia in a bid to defend Ukraine’s rights and interests guaranteed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," the press service said in its release.
"The arbitration proceedings will be initiated in view of Russia’s gross violation of international law, its aggression against Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea and the violation of Ukraine’s rights to the natural resources harbored in the waters of the Black and Azov Seas," Poroshenko’s press service went on to say.
The press release said that Ukraine would also seek claims against Russia for the alleged plundering of its marine resources, the supposed contamination of the Black Sea and the adverse environmental impact from the construction of a bridge over the Kerch Strait.Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yelena Zerkal said Kiev would seek the confirmation of its rights as a maritime nation and try to halt Russia’s illegal actions. She said Ukraine would also demand compensation from Russia for the losses, which Ukraine suffered when it lost those rights. Zerkal added that experts hired by the court of arbitration would assess the size of damage.
The deputy foreign minister said Russia had 30 days to appoint its arbiter from the day of receipt of the notification letter. The previous legal experience shows that the consideration of such cases usually takes from 12 to 18 months.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed in 1982 but took effect in 1994. It divides maritime space among states and defines what constitutes territorial waters, the open sea, the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf, and so forth. The Convention was ratified by 159 countries, including Russia and Ukraine.