As it is known, Kerch Incident happened on 24 November 2018, when three Ukrainian naval vessels the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yani Kapu, set sail on a mission with the objective of navigating from the Ukrainian port of Odesa, through the Kerch Strait, to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov and were confronted by Russian vessels, and the Russian Federation forces intercepted and arrested the Ukrainian vessels and the servicemen on board.
Ukraine passed an appeal against Russia to the International Arbitrary regarding violation by Russia the demands of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Kerch incident and in relevant proceeding 2019-28 Russia tried to reject the Arbitral jurisdiction in that case and that was a matter of consideration in the relevant proceeding.
Now the International Arbitral published the Award on aggressor’s preliminary objections adopted on 27 July 2022, where Russia’s position was rejected in its main part. Arbitral decided that it has jurisdiction over the dispute regarding Kerch Incident, as minimum in part where arrest of the Ukrainian vessels and involves the continued detention of the vessels and their crews and the prosecution of the Ukrainian servicemen. Also Arbitral will research on the merits the issue of Russian ships’ attack on the Ukrainian naval vessels the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yani Kapu.
Leadership of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dmitry Kuleba and Emine Dzhepar highly appreciated the decision of the Arbitration and the level of the Ukrainian legal team handling this case. It is noteworthy that Russian propaganda practically ignored this event, which is quite important in the international legal mechanisms for countering Russian aggression.