On the 6th of February, 2018 the President of Ukraine signed the order on the representation of the country in the legal proceedings in the Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding the violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. According to this document, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Olena Zerkal will defend the interests of our country.
“Tomorrow, on February 20, it will be exactly 4 years since Russian aggression against sovereign and independent Ukraine has started with the illegal annexation of Crimea, when the invasion of Russian troops has begun the 4-year story of heroic defense of Ukraine, struggle for sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our state,” the President said before signing the order.
He also said that the economic interests of Ukraine were seriously damaged, in particular, by illegal mining of minerals and construction of the Kerch Bridge without the permission of the state of Ukraine that leads to significant negative environmental, infrastructure and transport implications .
The President emphasized that “it doesn’t concern Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea”: “This issue is out of discussion and nobody doubts it. It goes about the protection of the economic interests of Ukraine and private investors whose property in Crimea was confiscated”.
The President underscored the role of the team of the best experts in the preparation of those lawsuits: “Today is another stage. We have drafted the order on the representation of Ukraine in the legal proceedings concerning Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereign rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait”.
In turn, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Olena Zerkal noted that the Memorandum, that had already been submitted to The Hague today, outlined the legal framework of the claim regarding violation of the rights of Ukraine under the Maritime Convention. She added that the Permanent Court of Arbitration had set specific time periods – when and what should be filed. “In fact, we are building a new paradigm of relations with Russia, which will be based exclusively on legal principles,” Olena Zerkal said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin noted that the Memorandum was the real result of the 3-year work of a powerful international team including prominent international experts, lawyers and academics. The document includes almost 500 annexes. He added that the given Memorandum was the first and in June, there would the memorandums under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
“The things we do are the comprehensive legal attempt to punish Russia along the entire legal frontline. The most important thing is that Russia will not only be punished for violating the rights, but also pay for that,” Pavlo Klimkin noted. The Minister assured that the work would be continued and the Ukrainian party had a strong team that would represent it during the legal proceedings.