Zerkal Reported on the Closed Door Hearing by Russia
The hearing was held in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague
Photo from Ukrinform – UATV
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, has started to hold hearings in the arbitration Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait, initiated by Ukraine against Russia.
Russia presented its arguments in the morning of June 10, 2019. Only the opening part of the statement by a Russian representative was open to the public. The hearing was held behind closed doors at the request of the Russian Federation.
Olena Zerkal, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, the agent of Ukraine in the case of Ukraine v. the Russian Federation, said this to a Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague.
According to her, Russia’s representatives argued that Crimea had changed its territorial borders in 2014 after the questionable referendum on joining with Russia and the subsequent illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia.
“Russia presented its objections, saying that Crimea changed its territorial [borders] in 2014 after the referendum [to join Russia] was held. They also stated that Russia regards the entire activity in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov as military activity and, therefore, it is not subject to this convention [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea],” she said.
Zerkal also said that Russia said that the court had no jurisdiction, which means no right, to consider the case that Ukraine had instituted against the Russian Federation.
The opening statement of Ukraine will be delivered on June 11, 2019, at 10:00 am (CEST).
“We are going to pull Russia’s arguments to bits, as we always do,” the Ukrainian deputy foreign minister emphasized.
She added that there was no reason to believe that Crimea had changed its jurisdiction and did not belong to Ukraine anymore.
On June 10 to June 14, 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 arbitral proceedings were begun 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).