MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
On October 11-15 in The Hague, an arbitration tribunal formed at the initiative of Ukraine in 2019 on the basis of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to consider its claim against Russia in connection with the events in the Kerch Strait on November 24-25, 2018, heard the positions parties on the issue of jurisdiction.
The meetings were held behind closed doors. An exception was made only for the opening statements of the heads of delegations, which were broadcast online.
The main objection of the Russian Federation was that, upon ratifying the 1982 Convention, both Russia and Ukraine made a reservation, according to which the use of conventional dispute resolution procedures with their participation is excluded in situations where such disputes are related to military activities. Based on facts and court precedents, they proved that the “Kerch incident” is a classic example of such activity.
Our other objections were also reasoned in detail, in particular, concerning the immunity of foreign warships in the territorial sea of the coastal state and the need for the plaintiff to exhaust preliminary methods of settling the dispute before submitting it to arbitration.
In conclusion, Russia filed a demand to recognize the tribunal’s lack of jurisdiction over all of Ukraine’s claims.
The arbitration decision on the issue of jurisdiction is expected in early 2022.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.