Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

Kyiv 10:33

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in relation to the illegal decision of Lefortovo district court in Moscow to extend the arrest of 24 Ukrainian servicemen

18 April, 15:02

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest in relation to the illegal decision of Lefortovo district court in Moscow on extension of detention of 24 Ukrainian servicemen, who were seized by Russia in the Black Sea waters, until 24 and 26 July 2019.

Russian Federation once again resorted to the closed type of court hearing by which it confirmed previous assessments of its full awareness of illegality of the court process and attempt to cover the blatant facts of violation of norms of the international law, namely the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which establishes the immunity of military vessels and members of their crews, and the Third Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of the prisoners of war (1949).

Once again, we demand from the Russian side to provide the documented information on health condition and the course of medical treatment of the Ukrainian servicemen wounded during the armed seizure by Russia, to release them from detention and to secure their return back to Ukraine.

On 17 April, Ukraine filed a request to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (“ITLOS”) seeking provisional relief against the Russian Federation and release of the three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 servicemen.

We commend our international partners – the EU member states, the U.S.A, Canada and Switzerland for solidarity with Ukraine in its struggle for the release of the Ukrainian servicemen from the Russian captivity. We call on the international community to increase the pressure on the Russian Federation in order to secure the release and return of 24 Ukrainian servicemen back home in the shortest time possible.

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