Under the procedural guidance of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, another 32 vessels have been identified as those that violated the order of entry to and exit from the occupied peninsula. Therefore, they were arrested. Currently, the Crimean Prosecutor’s Office plans to send a request to the Ukrainian Bureau of Interpol to put such vessels on a wanted list.

Since July 2014, Ukraine has officially ceased the operation of all ports of the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. The peninsula’s harbours are closed to international shipping.

Foreign-flag vessels calling at closed seaports of the occupied peninsula are classified as an action that undermines the sovereignty of Ukraine and violates the rules of national legislation, which entails criminal liability of the owners, operators and captains of vessels.

In recent years, the number of foreign ships that violate the law has significantly decreased: from 162 to 15 as of today. In addition, ships from leading maritime nations do not sail to Crimea. At the same time, vessels under the flags of Russia – sometimes of Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, i.e. countries with which there is no international cooperation in this area – violate the law.

Natalia Tolub

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