Zerkal Presents Ukrainian Position to the Permanent Court of Arbitration
Olena Zerkal, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister, addressed the Court behind closed doors to present Ukraine's case.
Photo from Ukrinform – UATV
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, has the jurisdiction to consider the dispute concerning Russia’s violations of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait. This is the position of Ukraine in rebuttal to Russia’s claims that the Court has no jurisdiction on the matter.
“Yesterday, Russia tried hard to change the subject of the case in order to squeeze it into the scope of Russia’s objections. Today, you will hear about the real dispute that is before you. As a result, it will become clear why none of Russia’s objections undermines your jurisdiction,” Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister, Agent of Ukraine Olena Zerkal said, while delivering her opening statement to the Court, a Ukrinform correspondent reports.
According to Zerkal, Russia is stealing Ukrainian resources in the Black Sea and excludes Ukraine from access to oil and gas beneath Ukrainian territorial waters.
“Since spring 2014, Russia has already stolen more than 9 billion cubic meters of natural gas. It has purported to cancel licenses duly issued by the Ukrainian Government for energy production and it has issued its own licenses to Russian companies. Russia has even taken from us valuable and modern mobile drilling rigs, which it moves around our entitlements in the Black Sea to drill our natural gas,” the deputy foreign minister of Ukraine stressed.
On June 10, 2019 to June 14, 2019, the Permanent Court of Arbitration is holding hearings on the preliminary objections of the Russian Federation in the arbitration Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait, initiated by Ukraine against Russia.
The opening statement of the Russian Federation was delivered on June 10, 2019. On June 11, 2019, Ukraine delivered its opening statement. The second round will be held on June 13, 2019 and June 14, 2019. On June 13, 2019, the Russian Federation will present its second round of oral arguments. On June 14, 2019, Ukraine will present its second round of oral arguments.
The arbitral proceedings were initiated on September 16, 2016 when Ukraine served the Russian Federation a Notification and Statement of Claim under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Notification and Statement of Claim refers to a “dispute concerning coastal state rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait.”
According to Zerkal, the Court is expected to release a decision on whether or not it has jurisdiction within a six month timeframe but no exact date is known as of yet.