Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the 26th SPLOS

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the 26th SPLOS

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the 26th SPLOS under a.i. 14 “Report of the Secretary-General under article 319 for the information of States parties on issues of a general nature, relevant to States parties, which have arisen with respect to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

Mr. President,

We are grateful to the Secretary-General and the Division for their useful and comprehensive reports. My delegation would like to intervene under article 319 and make a statement concerning application of the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in to the maritime areas appertaining to the Crimean Peninsula.

The States parties to the UNCLOS have recognized the desirability of establishing through this Convention, with due regard for the sovereignty of all States, a legal order for the seas and oceans which will facilitate international communication, and will promote the peaceful uses of the seas and oceans, the equitable and efficient utilization of their resources, the conservation of their living resources, and the study, protection and preservation of the marine environment.

The UNCLOS legal order currently faces great challenges from the internationally wrongful acts of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and its adjoining maritime areas. This delegation recalls that the Russian Federation, beginning on 20 February 2014, carried out an armed aggression against Ukraine in violation of the U. N. Charter and engineered the illegal so-called “referendum” on secession in breach of the fundamental rules and principles of international law, including the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. The majority of international community, complying with its duty and acting in support of integrity of international law, strongly condemned these illegal actions by supporting the Resolution on territorial integrity of Ukraine, adopted by the General Assembly on March 27, 2014.

Mr. President,

Our delegation wants to stress that Ukraine, as a coastal state, extends its sovereignty to and has sovereign rights and jurisdiction in internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and over the continental shelf of Ukraine in water area of the Black Sea and Azov Sea appertaining to the Crimean Peninsula.

I wish once again to recall the decision by the Government of Ukraine to close down, beginning from June 2015 all sea ports in the territory of Crimea, namely those of Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta, and Yevpatoria. All Member States of the IMO were duly notified of this decision through the IMO Secretariat. Moreover, the Ukrainian side has raised this issue at various IMO meetings, including Assembly of this Organization and 94th, 95th and 96th sessions of IMO Maritime Safety Committee.

Russia’s attempted ‘taking over’ Ukraine’s legitimate responsibility for the international shipping matters, including those regarding the safety of navigation, protection of marine environment from ship pollution, search and rescue, ship registration, certification of crew members of seagoing vessels in the maritime areas adjacent to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, constitutes an internationally wrongful act which entails international responsibility of the Russian Federation.

It should also be emphasized that the Russian Federation continues to violate the sovereign rights of Ukraine in other areas of the law of the sea. In particular, the Russian Federation has violated Ukraine’s sovereign rights to natural resources, by illegal exercise of regulatory jurisdiction and actual seizure and illegal use of Ukrainian gas and oil fields located in the Black Sea which are part of the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Ukraine.

These and other flagrant breaches of the Convention have serious repercussions to the obligations of Ukraine and other parties of this international instrument.

Mr. President,

Ukraine is resolved to take all necessary measures provided by the UNCLOS in order to restore the lawful legal regime of UNCLOS over the maritime areas appertaining to the Crimean Peninsula.

In this context, acting in a good faith, Ukraine is tacking reasonable steps to resolve the existing dispute with the Russian Federation by peaceful means according to the mechanism, prescribed by the UNCLOS.

I thank you.