Treaty Between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on Cooperation in the Use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait
The Treaty Between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on Cooperation in the Use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait is an agreement on sea and fisheries between Russia and Ukraine entered into force on 23 April 2004. It was signed on 24 December 2003 by President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma and President of Russia Vladimir Putin.
|Signed||December 24, 2003|
|Effective||23 April 2004|
The Parties, proceeding from the necessity of conservation of the Azov–Kerch defined area of water as integral economic and natural complex, to be used in the interests of the Russian Federation and Ukraine, have agreed as follows:
- The Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait are historically internal waters of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
- The Sea of Azov must be delimited by the state border in accordance with the Agreement signed by the Parties.
- Dispute settlement regarding the issues pertaining to the defined area of water of Kerch must be regulated by agreement between the Parties.
- Mercantile vessels and other state non-commercial vessels flying the flags of the Russian Federation and Ukraine have free navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.
- Russian–Ukrainian cooperation in the spheres of navigation, fisheries, protection of marine environment, ecological safety and life-saving in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait must be implemented on the basis of existing international agreements and by conclusion, in respective cases, of the new ones.
In the context of the 2018 Kerch Strait incident, Sergei Lavrov at a press-conference in Rome said that while the agreement stipulates the free navigation, since the Sea of Azov is the common internal waters, both sides have the right for inspection, which was exercised in the past without any complaints. However, the fact is that 24 sailors and 3 ships remain in the custody of Russia in violation of the agreement.
- "Договор между Российской Федерацией и Украиной о сотрудничестве в использовании Азовского моря и Керченского пролива". mid.ru (in Russian). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- "Договір між Україною та Російською Федерацією про співробітництво у використанні Азовського моря і Керченської протоки". zakon.rada.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- "Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Ukraine on cooperation in the use of the sea of Azov and the strait of Kerch". Ecolex. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
- "В ФСБ сообщили о пересечении границы России тремя кораблями ВМС Украины" [FSB Announced the Crossing of the Russian Border by Three Ukrainian Navy Ships] (in Russian). Interfax. 25 November 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- "Top Political Official Urges Restraint from Ukraine, Russian Federation in Emergency Security Council Meeting on Seized Ukrainian Vessels". un.org. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
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