Russia accused by Ukraine of violating int’l maritime law due to Kerch bridge construction

Russia accused by Ukraine of violating int’l maritime law due to Kerch bridge construction

Russia has been accused of violating the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by limiting navigation to Ukrainian ports of the Azov Sea on account of the construction of the Kerch bridge, said the Ministry of temporarily occupied territories and IDPs Ukraine.

“The Russian Federation has breached the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and is restricting navigation across the Kerch Strait. The height of the bridge arch is decided to be 33 meters above sea level. Adding on to it, while previously navigation across the Kerch Strait was sanctioned for vessels up to 200 meters long, now the Russian Federation has restricted their length to 160 meters,” said the ministry in a statement given. New requirements for the dimensions of ships, according to Mariupol port, restrict passage of 144 ships which sailed the port in the previous year, representing 23% of their total number. It is these ships that account for 43% of the port’s cargo capacity.

“Restrictions will lead to the fact that only the ships with comparatively lower full load capacity (10,000 tonnes) will be able to enter the Mariupol sea port. This, in turn, results in affecting the competitiveness of the port as such ships can transport cargo within the Black and Mediterranean Seas. According to Art. 44 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, states bordering straits shall not hinder the transit passage and shall inform accordingly about any known threats to navigation in the strait. There shall be no suspension of transit passage.

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