Kyiv: Ukraine has arrested 15 ships for visiting closed Crimean ports
Ukraine has already arrested or placed other restrictions on 15 foreign vessels that have visited the closed ports of Russia-annexed Crimea, said Oleh Slobodyan, assistant to the head of Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service (SBGS), Radio Liberty reports.
Ukraine’s border guards take actions when they see that ships are entering Ukraine’s economic sea zone or ports.
“Already 15 vessels have been placed under arrest or other restrictions. These are all vessels that have violated Ukraine’s legislation by visiting the Crimean ports,” observed Slobodyan.
The SBGS representative noted that more than 940 foreign vessels have visited the ports in annexed Crimea, a large number of them being Russian ships that service the ports.
“There are not so many foreign ships visiting Crimean ports, because there are sanctions in effect. Ship owners are concerned for their reputation, and are in no hurry to accept an invitation from the local occupation authorities,” Slobodyan remarked.
Two days ago, Ukraine’s Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons reported that 20 tankers and cargo ships had visited the ports of annexed Crimea in October, thereby violating Ukrainian legislation.
On February 19, 2018, Ukraine filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice concerning Russia’s infringement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Since July 2014, the Ukrainian government has officially shut down all the ports on the occupied Crimean peninsula, closing the harbors to international maritime traffic.