Russians point weapons at Ukrainian ship as it inspects Ukraine’s marine economic zone
The marine protection ship Grigory Kuropyatnikov conducted a planned survey of Ukraine’s exclusive (marine) economic zone in the gas deposit region, during which it documented further violations by Russia, the Ukrainian State Border Services reported.
The survey was done at all the active deposits in the northwest part of the Black Sea – Shtormove, Arkhangelsk, Golitsynsk and Odessa.
“The goal of the interdepartmental group was to verify the received information concerning the initiation of activity in several sections of the Black Sea Shelf, the movement of Russian-annexed self-lifting floating drill rigs, the delivery of additional equipment which could give evidence of illegal activity being carried out by the Crimean occupation authorities, mining natural resources which belong to Ukraine,” the report states.
The Ukrainian marine protection ship was able to survey about 20 facilities at four deposits.
“Once again we documented the presence of armed people who took combat positions when the marine protection ship approached, and sometimes purely demonstratively, without hiding, they pointed weapons at the ship. When the drill platform crew was questioned over radio, the personnel admitted to belonging to Russia and claimed to be in neutral waters, not violating the law. However, they did not confirm that they were mining gas,” the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reported.
At the same time, specialists from Naftogaz Ukraine and Chornomornaftogaz gave evidence that at several MSPs (Marine Stationary Platforms) there is equipment which clearly confirms that work is being done to upgrade, reinstall or renovate the mechanisms and devices, which means that they have been used for mining operations. The process of hole-drilling has been documented at the Krym-1 self-lifting drilling rig (renamed “Ukraina”) at the Odessa gas condensate deposit.
“Acting within the legislation of Ukraine and the norms of international law, the marine protection ship warned all facilities at all the deposits that legal violations by them were being recorded, and that it is unacceptable for them to continue the illegal activity in Ukraine’s exclusive (marine) economic zone. As a result of the survey of the deposits by the interdepartmental group, a statement has been drawn up on the identified legal violations, and it has been submitted to the military prosecutor general’s office for further reaction,” the department concluded.