On October 12, President Petro Poroshenko put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) to protect Ukraine’s interests in the Azov and Black Seas, the Kerch Strait, as well as in the south and east of Ukraine, as stated in Decree No. 320/2018.
A great number of articles of this decree are classified. The non-confidential part of the decree speaks about, for example, the need to form a working situational group to protect Ukraine’s national interests in the Black and Azov Seas and the Kerch Strait; the approval of the international reintegration strategy of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea; drafting laws on inland waters, the territorial sea and the adjacent zone of Ukraine; the approval of the target program on the creation of an information system that would report on the situation in the seas and the basins of the Dnieper and Danube rivers.
In addition, Ukraine intends to determine the coordinates of the demarcation line in the Azov Sea, the Ketch Strait and the Black Sea, which will become the state border between the Ukrainian and Russian inland waters.
The decree provides the development of the capabilities of Ukraine’s seaports in the Azov Sea, including dredging work.
The document emphasizes the fact that the Russian Federation has abused the provisions of international treaties on the cooperation in the waters of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait, as well as the fact that Russia has created an offensive military grouping near the borders of Ukraine and has activated the Russian special services against Ukraine.
In addition, the document notes the fact of Russia’s illegal economic activities of exploring and mining mineral resources in the “temporarily occupied” territories of Ukraine, including in the Black and Azov Seas, as well as poaching seafood in the territorial sea and in the exclusive (maritime) economic zone of Ukraine.