12:49 06.12.2018

Verkhovna Rada doubles zone of Ukrainian control in Black Sea

3 min read
Verkhovna Rada doubles zone of Ukrainian control in Black Sea

 Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada has adopted a measure on the adjacent zone of Ukraine, which will actually increase the territory of control in the Black Sea.

The corresponding bill (No. 8361) in the second reading and in general was supported by 244 deputies at a plenary session of parliament on December 6.

According to the document, the adjacent zone of Ukraine will be the open sea belt, which is adjacent to the territorial sea of Ukraine, and whose outer border is at a distance of no more than 24 nautical miles (they are counted from the same reference lines as the width of the territorial sea of Ukraine). As is known, the territorial waters of Ukraine are 12 miles.

Ukraine in this territory will exercise the control necessary to prevent violations of the customs, fiscal, immigration and sanitary legislation of Ukraine.

The competent state authorities of Ukraine will have the right to stop, inspect, detain and arrest ships and crew members, with the exception of warships and other government ships that are used for non-commercial purposes, in the adjacent territory.

If a vessel violates Ukrainian legislation in the above areas and attempts to escape, the authorized body will have the right to pursue such a vessel without delay in order to detain and prosecute it, according to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The right to prosecution is terminated as soon as the vessel enters the territorial sea of the state under the flag of which it is walking, or of any third state.

Disabling the automatic identification system in the adjacent area by all ships, with the exception of warships or other ships used for non-commercial purposes, will be grounds for stopping, inspecting the vessel or pursuing hot pursuit.

As noted in the preamble, this law complies with the provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The law will take effect the day after publication.

Ivan Vinnyk, a member of the Committee on National Security and Defense, said before the voting for the law, the document is a framework, and further, it is necessary to develop amendments to a number of legislative acts, in particular, to the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine.

When considering the bill in the first reading, one of the authors of the initiative, at that time, MP Iryna Friz said: "This bill will allow de facto to double the territory of control in the Black Sea."

"The adjacent zone, according to international standards, is neither a zone of jurisdiction nor a zone of sovereignty. However, this zone is the part of the sea space where any coastal state can exercise limited control over the prevention or detention of vessels for violating certain rules," she said.

According to her, the adoption of this law will allow ships of the sea guard and the Navy to check suspicious ships not within the 12-mile zone, as it is now, but 24 miles from the coastline.