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Ukraine prepares to sue Russia over Kerch Strait bridge project

Kiev is set to seek compensation for "lost profits" sustained by its ports due to navigation restrictions imposed by Russia

KIEV, August 2. /TASS/. Kiev prepares a lawsuit over Kerch Strait navigation restrictions, introduced by Russia due to its project to build a bridge to the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine’s deputy minister of infrastructure said on Tuesday.

Russia launched the project to build a bridge connecting Crimea with mainland in February 2016 and had to introduce temporary limits on navigation via the Kerch strait starting from the second half of August. Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov assured the restrictions will be minimal.

Ukraine’s deputy minister of infrastructure, Yuri Lavrenyuk, said his country would seek compensation for the move in court.

"We are currently preparing a lawsuit and calculating the amount of profits lost by the Mariupol and Berdyank trade ports," the ministry’s press service quoted Lavrenyuk as saying.

The deputy minister added that this "political issue" is being handled "together with the Foreign Ministry and the Council on National Security and Defense."

Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavel Petrenko said in October 2016 that his country would initiate a litigation over alleged violation of maritime borders at the UN International Court of Justice. Kiev accuses Russia of misappropriating its maritime resources, as well as of polluting and causing other negative environmental effects on the Black Sea by its activities, including the Kerch Strait bridge construction.