On 27 November 2018, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for the European Integration Olena Zerkal met with Head of the Mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Ukraine Alain Aeschlimann.
The meeting offered an opportunity for an exchange of views on how to ensure access to the Ukrainian sailors, captured on 25 November 2018 as a result of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in the Kerch strait.
Deputy Minister Olena Zerkal informed the Head of the ICRC Mission in Ukraine that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine sent a note verbale to the Russian side demanding to ensure, in full and without delay, that all legal rights of the captured Ukrainian servicemen are respected in accordance with the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 1949 as well as to provide an urgent access to them by ICRC representatives.
Both sides agreed to have regular dialogue and exchange of information on the issues related to the state of health of the Ukrainian prisoners of war, conformity of their treatment to the requirements of humanity, as well as the respect of their rights under international humanitarian law.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is mandated to promote respect by the opposing parties for the Geneva Conventions of 1949 relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts and their Additional Protocols.