13:17 28.11.2018

Justice Ministry appeals to ECHR regarding protection of rights of Ukrainian seamen captured by Russia

2 min read
Justice Ministry appeals to ECHR regarding protection of rights of Ukrainian seamen captured by Russia

 The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, on behalf of the Cabinet of Ministers, has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the protection of Ukrainian sailors captured by the Russian Federation.

"On behalf of the government, we appealed to the European Court of Human Rights with the requirement to apply rule 39 - this is an immediate decision to release the illegally captured Ukrainian citizens," Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said at a government meeting on Wednesday.

He noted that the position of Ukraine is that the captured seamen are prisoners of war and all the guarantees of protection that are defined by the Geneva Conventions should be applied to them.

On November 25, Russian border guards detained the Yany Kapu tugboat and two small-sized Berdiansk and Nikopol armored artillery boats of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Navy, sailing from Odesa to Mariupol via the Black and Azov Seas, near the Kerch Strait. The ships were convoyed to Kerch. Twenty-four Ukrainian military seamen are detained, from whom, according to various information sources, from three to six are wounded. In the course of the operation, the Russian Federation closed shipping on the Kerch-Yenikale Canal, attracted helicopters and combat aircraft.

The European Union and the foreign ministries of many countries have condemned Russian aggressive actions in the Azov and Black Seas against Ukrainian ships. Kurt Volker, Special Representative of the U.S. Department of State for Ukraine Negotiations, and Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, said that there was nothing in the actions of the Ukrainian side in the Kerch Strait that could be regarded as a provocation.

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