During the time of chairmanship at the meeting of Ministers of Transport of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization Member States Volodymyr Omelian delivered a special statement of Delegation of Ukraine where he condemned the illegal actions of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine. “The actions of the Russian Federation, which violate the basic principles of international law, become more systematic in the region of Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and negatively influence on the transport industry, one of the main sectors of national economy” said the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine.
Special Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine
at the Meeting of the Ministers of Transport of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) Member States “Development of Infrastructure in the BSEC Region and Effective Realization of Joint Projects”
(the 17th day of November, 2017, Kyiv, Ukraine)
The transport sector of Ukraine faces crucial issues due to the illegal temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation.
On March 27, 2014, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution No. 68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine, which recommended refraining from actions that may be interpreted as recognition of changes in the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as the main sector of country economy.
The illegal actions of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine, which violate the basic principles of international law, become more systematic in the BSEC region and influence negatively on transport sphere as the main sector of national economy.
As for the air transport, starting from 2014, since the illegal temporary occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, despite the prohibition of flight operations to airports in Simferopol and Sevastopol (Belbek), airlines of the Russian Federation have been systematically violating the Ukrainian airspace and the flight rules, performing flights to/from the closed Simferopol aerodrome and violating provisions of Chicago convention, the Annexes thereto and the current legislation of Ukraine.
As for the maritime transport, one of the challenging issues remains the entry of the foreign vessels to the closed ports of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Taking into account UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 of
March 27, 2014, Ukraine closed the seaports in the cities of Feodosiya, Kerch, Sevastopol, Yalta and Yevpatoriya starting from July 15, 2014 until the complete restoration of constitutional law and order and effective control by Ukraine over the occupied territory. Ukraine also duly informed IMO Member States about that decision (Circular Letters Nos.3477 and 3490) and called on maritime administrations to take measures in order to prevent violations of the sovereignty of Ukraine.
The Russian Federation continues to carry out port state control inspections in the closed Crimean ports and submits this information to the Black Sea information system, violating the norms of the Black Sea Memorandum.
Another challenging issue includes qualification and identification documents of the seafarers issued in the closed Crimean ports starting from August 2014.
In this regard, we would like to stress that the results of such inspections are illegal and to recall our European partners not to ignore them and consider the acts of inspections as invalid.
One more challenging issue is connected with the qualifications and identification documents of the seafarers issued in the Crimean ports starting from August 2014. We address the Black Sea countries, in case of detecting during the port state and flag state control the qualification and ID of the seafarers issued by the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea, to consider them as null and void. We also ask to apply to the crew members and vessel relevant measures provided for in the international norms and national legislation.
Besides that on May 24, 2017 the Russian Federation unilaterally announced the restriction of ship navigation for vessels going from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov and in the reverse direction in connection with the construction of the transport bridge through the Kerch Strait. This, in turn, causes economic losses to ship-owners.
The Kerch Strait is the only natural way connecting the Azov and Black Seas. Since the beginning of the illegal actions of the Russian Federation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the rights of Ukraine in these zones have been violated and usurped by the aggressor state. The Russian Federation has not coordinated with Ukraine its actions regarding the design and construction of the bridge across the Kerch Strait, including in terms of its technical characteristics, and continues to carry out work related to maritime navigation in the territorial waters of Ukraine, in the region of the Kerch Strait and the Azov Sea without any agreement with Ukraine.
Further uncompromising Russian intervention in the infrastructure of the Kerch Strait and the neighboring districts can be the reason for economic decline and will jeopardize further economic development in the region.
Another problematic issue is the economic, trade and transport restrictions imposed by the Russian Federation. Due to these restrictions, Ukrainian and foreign carriers suffer losses and have to look for new routes of transportation. Now we work with the WTO on the issue of transit restrictions and developing new transport connections and corridors from EU to Asia. We are sure that, irrespective of all the barriers and restrictions, Ukraine will move forward and provide the best multimodal logistic solutions.
Ukraine calls for the immediate stop of the international law violation on the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, for relevant actions to prevent extension of Russian aggression, and to provide support in development of regional transportation.