Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

3, Kyiv 08:07

On Violations of Ukraine’s Laws in Force and of Ukrainian-Russian Agreements by Military Units of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Ukraine

03 March, 03:57

Despite repeated official calls of Ukraine to the Russian Federation to stop deployment of combat and military equipment, vehicles and aircraft of military units of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the Black Sea Fleet Command actively relocates combat and military equipment towards the cities of Sevastopol, Saki and within the city of Sevastopol.

These actions of the Russian Federation represent blatant violations of bilateral treaties and agreements in force between Russia and Ukraine, in particular, of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation (dated May 31, 1997), the Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the Status and Conditions of Presence of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Ukraine (dated May 28, 1997), as well as of the Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Use of Airspace of Ukraine and of Airspace Over the Black Sea, Where Ukraine is Responsible for Security of Flights and Organization of Servicing of Air Traffic, by the Forces and Resources of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation (dated July 16, 1999).

         Thus, in particular, Article 3 of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation provides that: “The High Contracting Parties shall build their relations on the basis of principles of mutual respect of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, inviolability of borders, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-use of force or threat of force, including economic and other forms of pressure, non-interference into internal affairs…”.

         Article 6 of the same Treaty provides that “Either of the High Contracting Parties shall abstain from participation in or the support of any actions whatsoever which are directed against the other High Contracting Party, and obligates itself not to conclude with third countries any treaties whatsoever that are directed against the other Party. Neither Party shall also allow that its territory be used to the detriment of the security of the other Party”.

         According to paragraph 1, Article 6 of the Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the Status and Conditions of Presence of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in the Territory of Ukraine “Military units shall conduct their operations in the areas of disposition in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, obey its legislation and refrain from interference with Ukraine’s domestic affairs”. According to paragraph 2, Article 8 of the same Agreement, “Military units shall conduct exercise and other combat and operative training within the limits of training centers, training areas, positioning and dispersal areas, firing ranges, and, except forbidden zones, within the designated airspace as agreed with Ukraine’s competent authorities”.

         In violation of the Agreement above, the Russian Federation took the following steps:

  • On February 28, Sevastopol force of Maritime Border Guard of the State Border Service of Ukraine was blocked by a group of up to 30 servicemen, who stated the goal of their arrival as “implementation of the resolution of the Security Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on prevention of seizure of weapons and ammunitions”. At the same time, snipers were observed at high ground adjacent to the Maritime Border Guard base;
  • Missile boat Ivanovets of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation blocked Balaklava Bay at the distance of 5 cables from the shore;
  • On March 1, 2014, about 20 Ural and Tigr vehicles of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation infiltrated the Kirovske airfield;
  • 100 servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation infiltrated the territory of independent radar surveillance company in Yevpatoriya;
  • Servicemen of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation blocked Belbek airfield. Servicemen of the Ukrainian Air Force were proposed to side with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation or to leave the territory unarmed.

The Russian side also violated paragraph 5, Article 15 of the said Agreement that reads: “Movements related to activities of military units outside of their areas of disposition shall take place following an approval by Ukraine’s competent authorities”. Thus, in particular:

  • On February 21 and 22, active movements of a large number of combat equipment (over 30 APCs) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation were observed in the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol; these movements were not approved by Ukraine’s competent authorities. 16 BTR-80s of the 810th Independent Marine Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation (Sevastopol) travelled towards settlements of Kacha and Gvardiyske and within Sevastopol;
  • On February 27 and 28, Command of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation actively moved combat and military equipment towards the cities of Sevastopol and Saki and within Sevastopol;
  • On February 27, Large Landing Ship Azov deberthed at pier #141 of Southern Bay of Sevastopol Bay, passed border control procedures, moved to Kozacha Bay (location of the 810th Independent Marine Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation), where about 300 armed servicemen were unloaded from the ship;
  • A convoy of 14 unmarked Ural vehicles and 2 BTR-80s carrying up to 400 servicemen left the territory of the 7th Training Detachment of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation towards Sevastopol city limits.

Under Article 2 of the Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Use of Airspace of Ukraine and of Airspace Over the Black Sea, Where Ukraine is Responsible for Security of Flights and Organization of Servicing of Air Traffic, by the Forces and Resources of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, “exercises and inspections of standby air defense forces of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation shall be conducted without closures of airports of Ukraine upon consent by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and in accordance with regime and conditions established by the Ukrainian Center for Planning of Use of Airspace of Ukraine and airspace control by the Ukrainian Center for Planning of Use of Airspace of Ukraine”.

In violation of the above agreement, on February 28, 2014, 4 IL-76MD aircraft (#76722, #76731, #76776, #76777) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation landed and unloaded at Gvardiyske airfield; they arrived from home airfields in the cities of Pskov and Taganrog (Russia).

In addition, 10 IL-76MD aircraft and 10 helicopters landed at Kacha airfield of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Gvardiyske airfield, crossing Ukraine’s borders illegally and without border controls.

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