MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Moscow has formally denounced the Russian-Ukrainian treaty governing joint use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, based on the fact that Ukraine is no longer a littoral state as regards these bodies of water, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said at a plenary meeting of the State Duma, or lower house of Russia’s parliament, on Thursday.
The senior Russian diplomat attributed the initiative to legislatively denounce the treaty to the admission of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions to Russia, which has given rise to a fundamentally new situation around the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, the shorelines of which, he said, "now fully belong to Russia."
According to Galuzin, "Russia had to terminate the treaty now that Ukraine has lost the status of a littoral state with respect to the aforementioned maritime zones."
The Verkhovna Rada, or Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, formally denounced the treaty back in February, with the relevant law taking effect in late March, Galuzin recounted. Russia grounded its move to legislatively terminate the treaty on clauses stipulated by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, he assured the lawmakers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill to denounce the Russia-Ukraine treaty on May 24. The treaty, which was signed in the city of Kerch, Crimea, on December 24, 2003, highlighted the important role the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait play in the economic development of the two countries, and the need to preserve the Azov-Kerch basin as an integral economic and natural body.