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Russia slams ECHR for taking Kiev’s Kerch Strait suit without any official documentation

Ukraine’s lawsuit over the Kerch Strait standoff accepted by the ECHR contains information from the media, says the Russian Ministry of Justice

MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. Ukraine’s lawsuit over the Kerch Strait standoff accepted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) contains information from the media, and there are no official documents in it. This is why the Russian Ministry of Justice has raised its doubt over the initiated litigation, the ministry’s press service reported.

"The Russian Ministry of Justice expressed its concern to the ECHR over the fact that the European court had initiated proceedings in response to the motion substantiated mostly by reference to media reports and containing no official documents, which could be received by Ukraine from Russia through diplomatic channels and during intergovernmental cooperation, which is standard procedure in such cases," the ministry said.

The ECHR was informed that a response to its enquiry would be provided within a reasonable period of time, necessary for drawing up informative documents.

On November 25, three Ukrainian naval ships breached the current rules of passage from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. The intruding Ukrainian vessels illegally crossed the Russian state border, trespassed into Russian territorial waters and conducted dangerous maneuvers. In defiance of repeated warnings and demands to halt, the Ukrainian ships carried on violating the law, which drove the Russian forces to use gunfire in order to compel them to stop. As a result, all three ships were detained. In addition, three Ukrainians were injured in the incident, who were later given medical assistance. A criminal case was opened over the violation of the Russian state border.

On November 30, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) sent an inquiry to Russia saying it had to provide information on the detained Ukrainian sailors by December 3. It was sent in response to a request for interim measures as part of the Ukrainian government’s new lawsuit against Russia under Article 33 (on interstate judicial cases) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Kiev requested the ECHR draw the Russian government’s attention to the need to take measures in the interests of the 24 arrested Ukrainian Navy sailors.